Money will go toward a Phase II depression trial.

CeNeRx BioPharma, a company with clinical-stage treatments for diseases of the central nervous system (CNS), completed a $13 million Series C financing. The firm plans to use the proceeds to conduct a Phase II trial of its antidepressant TriRima™.

Specifically, TriRima will be tested as a monotherapy for treatment-resistant depression, says Barry Brand, CEO of CeNeRx. TriRima is a selective and reversible member of a class of drugs known as RIMAs, or reversible inhibitors of monoamine oxidase A (MAO-A).

The triple-action mechanism of TriRima elevates the levels of three neurotransmitters that positively affect mood and anxiety compared to the one or two neurotransmitters addressed by most current antidepressant drugs, CeNeRx points out. This mechanism may benefit patients not responding to traditional single- or dual-action products. Additionally the selectivity and reversibility of TriRima are expected to eliminate or reduce the risk of food-associated cardiovascular side effects of conventional MAO inhibitors.

CeNeRx’ CNS pipeline also includes clinical-stage hypothalamic-pituitary adrenal axis modulators for the treatment of various disorders including anxiety and depression; a small molecule, orally active agent for the prevention and treatment of neuropathies and neurodegenerative disorders; and a series of selective cannabinoid compounds that have recently completed successful preclinical proof-of-concept studies for the treatment of pain, glaucoma, and spasticity.

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