HALF MOON BAY, Calif., May 12 /PRNewswire/ -- Saegis Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a privately held biopharmaceutical company focused on developing medicines that protect and enhance the function of the human mind, today announced that The Stanley Medical Research Institute (SMRI) is providing Saegis with up to $3.8 million to continue funding human clinical trials of SGS518. Saegis is developing SGS518 as a treatment for the cognitive deficit that occurs in schizophrenia.
This is the second award that Saegis has received from SMRI for this promising therapeutic clinical development program. In January 2004, Saegis received a $2 million investment from The Stanley Medical Research Institute to support the initiation of the company's Phase I clinical study of SGS518. Earlier this year, Saegis announced positive results from the completed Phase I human clinical trial of the compound demonstrating that SGS518 was safe and well tolerated.
"The Stanley Medical Research Institute is the largest private provider of research support for schizophrenia in the United States," said Rodney Pearlman, Ph.D., president and CEO of Saegis Pharmaceuticals. "We are gratified to receive continued support from the Institute for the clinical development of SGS518. This funding recognizes the value of our development program and the compound's potential to treat cognitive impairment among the schizophrenic patient population -- a debilitating condition for which there are limited treatment options."
"We are impressed with Saegis' development capabilities and the potential of SGS518 to address the serious cognitive impairment associated with schizophrenia," said Michael Knable, M.D., executive director of The Stanley Medical Research Institute. "We are pleased to provide Saegis this support in recognition for their development progress and clinical evidence demonstrated to date in this program."
SGS518 is a selective antagonist of the 5-Hydroxytryptamine-6 (5-HT6) serotonin receptor believed to act by enhancing transmission of chemicals in the brain. Preclinical evaluation of SGS518 has shown it to be effective in behavioral studies of learning and memory. Saegis is developing SGS518 in cooperation with Eli Lilly and Company as a treatment for the cognitive impairment associated with schizophrenia (CIAS). Schizophrenia affects an estimated two million people in the United States and a large proportion of these patients are believed to also suffer from cognitive impairment. While currently marketed drugs are often effective in treating the psychoses that characterizes schizophrenia, CIAS remains a significant unmet need, preventing controlled patients from leading normal lives.
About The Stanley Medical Research Institute
The Stanley Medical Research Institute is a nonprofit organization that supports research on the causes and treatment of schizophrenia and bipolar disorder (manic-depressive illness), through research in their own laboratories and through support of researchers worldwide. Since 1989, when their research programs began, The Stanley Medical Research Institute has provided over $200 million to make this research possible. For more information, visit http://www.stanleyresearch.org/.
About Saegis Pharmaceuticals
Saegis Pharmaceuticals is a pioneer in the development of medicines that protect and enhance the function of the human mind. Saegis is building a portfolio of compounds for the treatment of neurological conditions that impact memory and cognition, including Alzheimer's disease, adult attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), mild cognitive impairment and Cognitive Impairment Associated with Schizophrenia (CIAS). With two Phase II clinical studies currently underway, Saegis' product pipeline is fueled by the discovery and identification of high-value leads leveraging comparative modeling technology of age-related cognitive decline, coupled with the strategic in-licensing and repositioning of promising clinical-stage compounds. Privately held, Saegis has received investment support from Versant Ventures, Technology Partners, Sofinnova Ventures (U.S.), Sofinnova Partners (Paris), Polaris Venture Partners, NeuroVentures, the Stanley Medical Research Institute and Novartis Pharma AG. For more information, visit http://www.saegispharma.com/.
Saegis Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
CONTACT: Jack Anthony of Saegis Pharmaceuticals, Inc., +1-650-560-0210,ext. 259, or firstname.lastname@example.org; or Karen L. Bergman, +1-650-575-1509,or Michelle Corral, +1-415-794-8662, both of BCC Partners, for SaegisPharmaceuticals, Inc.