Cerecor Announces Research Grant from the Department of Defense to Study CERC-501 in Animal Models for Co-Morbid Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and Alcohol Use Disorder
BALTIMORE-- Cerecor Inc. (NASDAQ: CERC), a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company developing treatments to make a difference in the lives of patients with neurological and psychiatric disorders, today announced that the Pharmacotherapies for Alcohol and Substance Use Disorders (PASA) Consortium has provided a grant to Dr. Colin Haile (Principal Investigator, University of Houston), Dr. Therese Kosten (Co-Investigator, University of Houston) and Dr. Ronald Marcus (Co-Investigator, Cerecor) to assess the efficacy of CERC-501, a selective kappa opioid receptor (KOR) antagonist, separately and in combination with one of two anti-hypertensive drugs (both of which target norepinephrine), in reducing post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)-induced alcohol use disorder (AUD) in animal models. This study is a collaborative effort between Cerecor and Drs. Haile and Kosten, who are both established experts in behavioral neuroscience, and will be conducted at the University of Houston.
The PASA Consortium is funded by the Department of Defense Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs as part of its Alcohol and Substance Abuse Research Program. The PASA Consortium goal is funding study applications for developing new medications that can be brought to therapeutic use to improve treatment outcomes for alcohol and substance use disorders, especially as related to PTSD.
“CERC-501 can reduce stress-related behaviors in animals and has shown an effect on alcohol use in rodents.” said Dr. Ronald N. Marcus, Chief Medical Officer and Head of Regulatory Affairs at Cerecor. “Because of the greater risk for AUD in veterans with PTSD and the established pharmacological effects of KOR antagonists, this study is particularly relevant.”
CERC-501 is a potent and selective oral KOR antagonist being developed to treat substance use disorders and for adjunctive treatment of major depressive disorder (MDD). KORs have been shown to play an important role in stress, mood and addiction in animal models. CERC-501 has been observed to have positive preclinical activity in models of depression, nicotine withdrawal and alcohol dependence, and it has been generally well tolerated in three human clinical trials. An ongoing Phase 2 smoking cessation trial with CERC-501 is expected to provide top-line data in the fourth quarter of 2016.
Cerecor is a biopharmaceutical company that is developing innovative drugs that make a difference in the lives of patients with neurological and psychiatric diseases. Cerecor is currently pursuing the development of two clinical Phase 2-stage product candidates: CERC-501 and CERC-301, an oral, NR2B-specific, NMDA receptor antagonist. Cerecor is currently conducting a Phase 2 study of CERC-301 as an adjunctive treatment of MDD and expects to announce results from that study in the first half of 2017. In addition, Cerecor is conducting preclinical testing of CERC-406, a brain penetrant COMT inhibitor with potential procognitive activity. For more information about the company and its products, please visit www.cerecor.com or contact Mariam E. Morris, Chief Financial Officer, at (443) 304-8002.
This press release may include forward-looking statements made pursuant to the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements are statements that are not historical facts. Such forward-looking statements are subject to significant risks and uncertainties that are subject to change based on various factors (many of which are beyond Cerecor’s control), which could cause actual results to differ from the forward-looking statements. Such statements include statements regarding potential benefits and uses of Cerecor’s product candidates, statements about the timing of expected trial results and other statements with respect to Cerecor’s plans, objectives, projections, expectations and intentions, including statements identified by words such as “projects,” “may,” “will,” “could,” “would,” “should,” “believes,” “expects,” “anticipates,” “estimates,” “intends,” “plans,” “potential” or similar expressions. These statements are based upon the current beliefs and expectations of Cerecor’s management but are subject to significant risks and uncertainties, including those detailed in Cerecor’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Actual results may differ from those set forth in the forward-looking statements. Except as required by applicable law, Cerecor expressly disclaims any obligations or undertaking to release publicly any updates or revisions to any forward-looking statements contained herein to reflect any change in Cerecor’s expectations with respect thereto or any change in events, conditions or circumstances on which any statement is based.
MacDougall Biomedical Communications
Doug MacDougall or Joe Rayne, 781-235-3060
Source: Cerecor Inc.
Released July 25, 2016