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Mar 19, 2009

Cortex Cuts Half Its Staff, Basic Research Activities, and Preclinical Programs

  • Cortex Pharmaceuticals is planning on reducing its workforce by approximately 50%. While reducing basic research and preclinical efforts, the company is focusing on mid-stage candidates for sleep apnea, depression, and attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

    CX717 is in Phase II testing for opioid-induced respiratory depression, and CX1739 is in a Phase II sleep apnea study with expected completion around mid-2009. CX1739 will also enter a Phase II trial in ADHD adult patients around mid-year.

    Both compounds are also being tested in Alzheimer’s disease, which according to Mark Varney, Ph.D., president and CEO, will be evaluated in the long term.

    Cortex says that a third compound, CX1942, will advance into toxicology and Phase I trials over the next year when additional capital becomes available. This molecule has shown potential in respiratory depression and sleep apnea. Similarly, CX2007will be evaluated in ADHD and Alzheimer’s disease when the company has further resources.



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Scientifically Studying Ecstasy

MDMA (commonly known as the empathogen “ecstasy”) is classified as a Schedule 1 drug, which is reserved for compounds with no accepted medical use and a high abuse potential. Two researchers from Stanford, however, call for a rigorous scientific exploration of MDMA's effects to identify precisely how the drug works, the data from which could be used to develop therapeutic compounds.

Do you agree that ecstasy should be studied for its potential therapeutic benefits?

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