NEUROKIN Accentuates its Leadership in the Treatment of Acute Neurological Diseases  
9/29/2010 12:32:35 PM

Marseille, September 29, 2010 – the biotechnology company NEUROKIN, dedicated to the development of neuroprotective drugs to treat acute neurological diseases, announces today that the European Patent Office (EPO) has granted patent EP 1998778 protecting the use of NK-102, its most advanced drug candidate. This first European award constitutes an important milestone for NEUROKIN. An application for registration is under way in Brazil, Canada, China, USA and Japan.

This patent, already granted in France in June 2008, focuses on NK-102, a drug candidate developed for the treatment of central nervous system (CNS) diseases and particularly for acute neurological diseases such as stroke, Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) or some forms of epilepsy. These diseases have very serious effects by destroying permanently the brain cells within a few days.

Due to the lack of effective treatments, the medical needs related to acute neurological diseases are enormous. The global market for drugs acting in the field of neuroprotection is estimated at several billion dollars. Stroke is the second leading cause of death worldwide and the third leading cause of death in industrialized countries after cardiovascular diseases and cancer, that is to say 273,000 deaths per year, only in the US. The stroke is the leading cause of disability in adults, 50% of patients who survive a stroke are left with disabilities. TBI is another major cause of death and disability affecting 1.4 million people per year in the United States with no effective treatment existing at the moment.

Finally, post-traumatic epilepsy is a major complication that occurs in 30% of civilian patients and 50% of military personals.

To meet these challenges, the Company develops neuroprotective drug candidates called NK molecules that are small molecules capable to selectively inhibit kinases that are involved in the destruction of brain cells occurring after stroke or head injuries.

The proof of concept of NK molecules has been demonstrated in several in vivo models. Thus, in rats, NK-102 is able to decrease the total volume of infarction of 30% and the volume of cortical infarction of 50% at least two hours after the begining of ischemia. NK molecules are able to cross the blood-brain barrier (BBB), a natural defense system of the brain that allows only about 2% of small drugs to cross from blood vessels to the nervous tissues.

Finally, because of their innovative mechanisms of action, NK molecules and NK-102 constitute very promising neuroprotectants. They are capable of acting simultaneously on several cell types (neurons, glial cells...) through various pathways which confers them anti-apoptotic, anti-excitotoxic and anti- inflammatory properties.

The significant results obtained by NEUROKIN were published in August by the PLoS One Revue in an article entitled: « Delayed Treatment with Systemic (S)-Roscovitine Provides Neuroprotection and Inhibits In Vivo CDK5 Activity Increase in Animal Stroke Models »*.

Jérôme BECQUART, CEO of NEUROKIN declared: « This patent grant represents a keystone element of NEUROKIN’s intellectual property and a recognition of the innovative nature of our approach already scientifically recognized with a publication in the PLoS One Revue. Our NK-102 candidate has great innovative potential in the treatment of the most serious central nervous system diseases and particularly stroke. In order to improve the preclinical regulatory and clinical development of its lead projects in stroke, epilepsy and TBI, Neurokin is currently seeking new investors ». * PLoS ONE august 2010, volume 5, issue 8. Bénédicte Menn (NEUROKIN), Stéphane Bach and Laurent Meijer (USR3151, CNRS) , Teri L. Blevins and Mark Campbell (MDS, Washington, USA), Serge Timsit (Department of Neurology, CHRU Brest, Faculté de Médecine et des Sciences de la Santé de Brest, Brest, France)


Founded in 2003 by neuroscientists, doctors and based on scientific research coming from INSERM and CNRS, NEUROKIN is a biotechnology company developing neuroprotective agents to treat acute neurological diseases. These are serious diseases such as stroke, Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) and some forms of epilepsy, which destroy permantly brain cells within a few days and for which there is no existing effective treatment.

NEUROKIN develops its expertise on the NK molecules, which are capable of protecting brain cells, particularly neurons, immediately after the occurrence of an accident or a traumatic brain injury. NK-102 is the first drug candidate from this family on which NEUROKIN focuses its development efforts. The company has exclusive worldwide licenses for the use of NK molecules and has been granted with a specific patent for NK-102 issued by the EPO.

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Contact Jérôme Becquart – CEO (+33) (0) 1 47 01 31 33

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