Rexahn Pharmaceuticals Announces Formation of Scientific Advisory Board in Major Depressive Disorder
Board Features Five Leading International Opinion Leaders in the Study and Treatment of Depression
ROCKVILLE, Md.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Jul 6, 2010 - Rexahn Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NYSE Amex:RNN), a clinical stage pharmaceutical company developing and commercializing potential best in class oncology and CNS therapeutics, today announced the formation of a scientific advisory board (SAB) in major depressive disorder (MDD). The SAB will actively collaborate with Rexahn on the clinical development of Serdaxin® for the treatment of MDD.
The SAB is chaired by Dr. Michael Thase, Professor of Psychiatry and Chief of the Division of Mood and Anxiety Disorders Treatment and Research Program at the University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Thase commented, "In my opinion, Serdaxin's novel mechanism, which targets both serotonin and dopamine, coupled with the promising results of the recent proof of concept study, provide strong support for further clinical development of this well tolerated drug for treatment of depression."
Chang Ahn, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Rexahn, added, "I'm delighted to have five leading international experts in depression advising us on our research and clinical development programs of Serdaxin as a therapeutic for MDD. Serdaxin will be advancing into a Phase IIb clinical trial later this year."
Dr. Michael Thase, who is chairing Rexahn's SAB in MDD, focuses his research on the assessment and treatment of mood disorders, including studies of the differential therapeutics of both depression and bipolar affective disorder. He is a Distinguished Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association, a Founding Fellow of the Academy of Cognitive Therapy, a member of the Board of Directors of the American Society of Clinical Psychopharmacology, and Vice Chairman of the Scientific Advisory Board of the National Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance.
Joining Dr. Thase are four additional experts in the study and treatment of depression, including:
Maurizio Fava, MD: Executive Vice Chair, Department of Psychiatry and Director of the Depression Clinical and Research Program, and Executive Director, MGH Clinical Trials Network Institute at the Massachusetts General Hospital; Slater Family Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School. Under Dr. Fava's direction since 1990, the Depression Clinical and Research Program has become one of the most highly regarded depression programs in the country, and a model for academic programs linking clinical and research work.
Susan Kornstein, MD: Professor of Psychiatry and Obstetrics and Gynecology at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU), Executive Director of the VCU Mood Disorders Institute and the VCU Institute for Women's Health, Director of Clinical Research for the VCU Department of Psychiatry, and Medical Director of the VCU Clinical Trials Office.
Stephen Stahl, MD: Adjunct Professor of Psychiatry at the University of California San Diego; Chairman, Neuroscience Education Institute in San Diego and honorary visiting Senior Fellow at the University of Cambridge in the UK. Dr. Stahl has held faculty positions at Stanford University, the University of California at Los Angeles, the Institute of Psychiatry London, and the Institute of Neurology London. He was also the executive director of Clinical Neurosciences at the Merck Neuroscience Research Center in the UK for several years.
Madhukar Trivedi, MD: Professor of Psychiatry; Betty Jo Hay Distinguished Chair in Mental Health; and Chief of the Division of Mood Disorders at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center.
Serdaxin® is a potential market-leading CNS neuroprotective agent and antidepressant. Rexahn is currently investigating Serdaxin as a treatment for depression, in a large Phase II clinical trial. Serdaxin may achieve greater and broader therapeutic coverage and appears to be safe and well tolerated without the appearance of serious side effects that are commonly linked to currently marketed antidepressant drugs, such as selective serotonin uptake inhibitors (SSRI), serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRI), and tricyclic antidepressants (TCA). Serdaxin has a well-established, excellent human safety profile. In preclinical studies, Serdaxin had onset of action in less than two days.
Based on its novel mechanism as a dual serotonin and dopamine enhancer, it is a potential treatment for multiple CNS disorders where these neurotransmitters are depleted or implicated in CNS-based illnesses, such as Parkinson's disease (PD). Serdaxin has the potential to address both non-motor and motor events of PD by serving as a neuroprotective agent and addressing loss of dopaminergic neurons that lead to loss of control of movements; and further, enhancing serotonin and dopamine levels that are involved in depression and mood disorders. Rexahn has multiple clinical programs planned for investigating Serdaxin in the treatment of anxiety disorders, Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's disease and neurodegenerative illnesses, neuroprotection and biodefense uses.
About Rexahn Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
Rexahn Pharmaceuticals is a clinical stage pharmaceutical company dedicated to developing and commercializing first in class and market leading therapeutics for cancer, CNS disorders, sexual dysfunction and other unmet medical needs. Rexahn currently has three drug candidates in Phase II clinical trials, Archexin®, Serdaxin®, and ZoraxelTM - all potential best in class therapeutics - and a robust pipeline of preclinical compounds to treat multiple cancers and CNS disorders. Rexahn also operates key R&D programs of nano-medicines, 3D-GOLD, and TIMES drug discovery platforms. For more information, please visit www.rexahn.com.
To the extent any statements made in this press release deal with information that is not historical, these are forward-looking statements under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Such statements include, but are not limited to, statements about Rexahn's plans, objectives, expectations and intentions with respect to future operations and products and other statements identified by words such as "will," "potential," "could," "can," "believe," "intends," "continue," "plans," "expects," "anticipates," "estimates," "may," other words of similar meaning or the use of future dates. Forward-looking statements by their nature address matters that are, to different degrees, uncertain. Uncertainties and risks may cause Rexahn's actual results to be materially different than those expressed in or implied by Rexahn's forward-looking statements. For Rexahn, particular uncertainties and risks include, among others, the difficulty of developing pharmaceutical products, obtaining regulatory and other approvals and achieving market acceptance; the marketing success of Rexahn's licensees or sublicensees; the success of clinical testing; and Rexahn's need for and ability to obtain additional financing. More detailed information on these and additional factors that could affect Rexahn's actual results are described in Rexahn's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including its most recent annual report on Form 10-K and subsequent quarterly reports on Form 10-Q. All forward-looking statements in this news release speak only as of the date of this news release. Rexahn undertakes no obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.