ATLANTA, April 11, 2012 – NeurOp, Inc.today announced that the National Institutes of Health (NIH) has awarded it a $700,000 grant to support its research for new schizophrenia treatments. NeurOp will use the funding to support the medicinal chemistry work on its NR2C and NR2D subunit-selective NMDA receptor compounds. The grant is a two-year award that provides approximately one-half of the funding this year.
“Early research suggests that specifically targeting certain NMDA receptors may lead to a new generation of antipsychotic drugs. In 2011, we expanded our program that focuses on these different subsets of NMDA receptors to explore that potential,” said Barney Koszalka, Ph.D., NeurOp president and chief executive officer. “We are delighted that the NIH continues to recognize our scientific platform based on NMDA receptor modulation. Last summer, we received a $3 million SBIR award to advance our pH-boost concept that modulates the NR2B subunit in response to a cerebral ischemic event.”
This project is supported by the National Institute of Mental Health of the National Institutes of Health under award number R43MH096363.
Schizophrenia is a complex, disabling and chronic brain disorder that typically strikes in the early adult years and affects one percent of the world’s population. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, people with the disorder may hear voices that others do not. They may also believe other people are reading their minds, controlling their thoughts, or plotting to harm them. This can terrify people with the illness and make them withdrawn or extremely agitated. Symptoms such as hallucinations and delusions usually start between ages 16 and 30.
Because the causes of schizophrenia are unknown, treatments focus on eliminating the symptoms and include antipsychotic medications, designated as typical and atypical, and various psychosocial treatments.
NeurOp, Inc. is an Atlanta-based biopharmaceutical company developing new medicines for central nervous system disorders, including depression, neuropathic pain, ischemia (stroke), schizophrenia and Parkinson’s disease. Its compounds target the NMDA receptor found on neurons in a manner designed to enhance therapeutic benefit without the negative side effects associated with previous generations of this and other drug classes. A research collaboration and licensing agreement with Bristol-Myers Squibb Company currently funds and supports development of NeurOp’s compounds for the treatment of depression and neuropathic pain. Research is also well underway in NeurOp’s ischemia (stroke) drug research program. For more information, visit www.neuropinc.com.
Barney Koszalka, CEO