Firm pays $1 million for option to full rights and will pay another $2 million if it acquires the candidate by October 31.

Cortex Pharmaceuticals has given Servier the option to expand its rights for CX1632 (S47445) for $1 million up front. The compound is in Phase I trials against neurodegenerative diseases and anxiety disorders.

Cortex will receive an additional $2 million, while the University of California (UC) would receive royalties and milestone payments, if Servier opts to acquire sole ownership of patent rights to the compound before October 31. Servier could also opt to acquire from Cortex a sublicense for its rights to all indications licensed from UC. Cortex would not be eligible for any royalties or further payments.

While the option period is in effect Cortex and Servier remain joint owners of patents and patent applications relating to CX1632.Cortex currently has rights to develop and market the drug in all of North America and selected South American countries as well as Australia and New Zealand.

Cortex discovered CX1632 using its Ampakin technology under a research agreement with Servier, which was signed in October 2000. In November 2010, Servier selected the compound for further development.

The new arrangement with Servier does not affect Cortex’ rights to the remaining Ampakine platform. These compounds act to increase the strength of signals at connections between brain cells. The loss of these connections is thought to be responsible for memory and behavior problems in Alzheimer disease.

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