Money will be used to advance new drug into clinical studies later this year and to further Phase II depression candidate.

CeNeRx BioPharma has acquired from Krenitsky Pharmaceuticals an agent for the prevention and treatment of neuropathies and neurodegenerative disorders. Separately, it completed a $9 million financing round.

The licensed compound from Krenitsky Pharmaceuticals is called CXB909 and works by enhancing the effects of nerve growth factor (NGF). CeNeRx will use the funding to initiate a Phase I trial in chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy (CIPN) later this year.

“Nerve growth factor has long been of interest as a potential therapy for neuropathies and neurodegenerative diseases, but recombinant NGF lacks key qualities needed for successful CNS drugs,” says Daniel Burch, M.D., evp of R&D and CMO of CeNeRx. “In preclinical studies, our small molecule agent CXB909 has been shown to increase the action of native NGF but without the pharmacokinetic and administration challenges of recombinant NGF. Most notably, CXB909 crosses the blood brain barrier, has a long half-life, and is orally available.”

Besides advancing CXB909, part of the $9 million obtained today will be used to further develop lead candidate, TriRima, which is currently in Phase II trials as an antidepressant. This compound is part of program covering the RIMA series of selective and reversible monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI), which was also previously licensed from Krenitsky.

The financing round comprised a $5 million credit facility from MidCap Financial and an additional $4 million invested by current shareholders Aisling Capital, L Capital Partners, and Pappas Ventures.

Related News from CeNeRx

CeNeRx Gains Access to PharmaNess’ Cannabinoid Portfolio (May 30, 2007)

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