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Cortex Pharmaceuticals (CORX)

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Last Post: 8/4/2015 8:45:59 PM - Followers: 155 - Board type: Free - Posts Today: 0

Note - Ongoing and planned clinical activities are highlighted in Yellow -

Cortex Pharmaceuticals,
Inc. is a biopharmaceutical company focused on the discovery and development of novel therapies for the treatment of Sleep Apnea, drug-induced Respiratory Depression, and other brain mediated breathing disorders.  In August 2012, Cortex merged with privately held Pier Pharmaceuticals in an all stock transaction, with Pier becoming a wholly-owned subsidiary of Cortex -

Cortex website -

Dronabinol -  Targeting Obstructive Sleep Apnea.  

--- Ongoing Phase 2b in Obstructive Sleep Apnea, 120 subjects, dosing 2.5 mg and 10 mg qd for 6 weeks, placebo controlled, topline data due Q4-15, fully funded $5 mil by NIH grant

This program was acquired in the Pier Pharma merger.

Phase 2b enrollment began Dec 2012, with full funding from the NIH (approx $5 mil in NIH funding).  The trial will enroll 120 patients, using two doses of Dronabinol -- a 2.5 mg arm dosing for 6 weeks and a 10 mg arm dosing for 4 weeks after a 2 week dose escalation.  These are similar dosing levels to those that Dronabinol already has FDA approval for in CINV and AIDS anorexia.  Patients will receive Dronabinol 1 hour prior to bedtime. Estimated completion date is May 2015  

Dr. Carley (Professor at the Univ of Illinois, and former Chief Science Officer at Pier Pharma) is the principal investigator. Enrollment began Dec 2012 at the Univ of Illinois, and Northwestern Univ will also be participating.

Dronabinol is a synthetic derivative of the naturally occurring substance in the cannabis plant, namely delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, otherwise known as delta-9 THC. Dronabinol is one of many derivatives found in the cannabis plant which includes other compounds as well such as cannabidiol (CBD) and cannabichromene (CBC), to name a few.

Dronabinol is currently FDA approved for use in refractory chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting (CINV) as well as for anorexia associated with weight loss in patients with AIDS.  Its use in these two indications is at a dose range of 2.5 mg to 10 mg twices daily.    Cortex acquired the Dronabinol program in its merger with Pier Pharma in Aug 2012, and Dronabinol is being evaluated to see whether a low dose Dronabinol therapy used in a proprietary formulation given daily at bedtime will significantly improve the apnea-hypopnea index (AHI) as well as other subjective and objective measures of clinical improvement in patients with OSA.


Dronabinol is an orally active cannabinoid which, like other cannabinoids, has complex effects on the central nervous system (CNS), including central sympathomimetic activity. Cannabinoid receptors have been discovered in neural tissues. These receptors may play a role in mediating the effects of dronabinol and other cannabinoids.
The mechanism of action of dronabinol's benefit in OSA is thought to be complex but related to the following dynamics outlined below and in the graphic representation that follows:
  • Peripheral CB1 receptor activation directly inhibits the afferent vagus nerve, and indirectly closes 5-HT3 ion channels (peripheral 5-HT induces apnea, via 5-HT3 receptors), leading to a reduced negative feedback loop on upper airway motor (UAM) tone and activity
    In the CNS, decreased serotonin (central 5-HT excitatory to motor neurons and prevents apnea) and noradrenaline levels during sleep ↓upper airway motor outputs.
    Central CB1 receptor activation results in an ↑ in brainstem monoamine levels, including serotonin (5-HT) and noradrenaline (NA), leading to ↑ upper airway muscle tone & activity.

Dronabinol Phase 2a results in Obstructive Sleep Apnea -

(This data was presented at the May 2011 meeting of the American Thoracic Society) -

The Phase 2a enrolled 22 patients, dosed for 21 days, with doses escalating from 2.5 mg to 5 mg to 10 mg.  A single dose was given 30 minutes before bedtime.   Statistical improvement in the primary endpoint (AHI -- Apnea-Hypopnea Index) was seen at the 2.5 and 10 mg dose levels, with a reduction in the AHI index score in the moderate-severe sleep apnea patients of approx 30%.  Dronabinol was safe and well-tolerated, with no degradation of sleep architecture. 


AMPAKINES - Allosteric upmodulators of the AMPA receptor
Ampakines are allosteric, meaning they amplify existing neural signals, rather than creating brand new neural signals as an agonist compound does.  Low Impact type Ampakines upregulate AMPA activity without producing significant BDNF upregulation, while High Impact Ampakines also upregulate production of BDNF and other neural growth factors.   Low and High Impacts bind at different binding sites on the AMPA receptor.  Low impacts are inherently much less prone to inducing excitotoxicity/seizures than high impacts.   In fact, low impacts like CX-717 and CX-1739 are so safe that it wasn't really possible to generate a true MTD - Max Tolerated Dose in Phase 1.         

 Low Impact Ampakines -

CX-1739 - Approx 3 times more potent than CX-717, halflife 7.2 hours, patent to 2028

Phase 2a completed in Sleep Apnea, with extremely strong results seen in Central type Sleep Apnea, and good activity also seen in Mixed type Sleep Apnea.   CX-1739 can also target ADHD, the cognitive aspects of Schizophrenia, Depression, and all other indications suitable for a low impact Ampakine (ie - where BDNF upregulation isn't a requirement).  CX-1739 is completely free from the preclinical 'artifact' histological phenomenon  that derailed development of CX-717 - 

Sleep Apnea Phase 2a results (CX-1739) -


CX-1942 - Water soluble prodrug of CX-1763 for intravenous use, targeting Respiratory Depression, approx 5 times more potent than CX-717 in animal models of RD.  Final preclinical studies starting Q3-14 and completing Q2-15.

CX-1763 - Low impact compound, preclinical, the oral version of CX-1942

CX-2076 - Low impact compound, preclinical

CX-717 -

Phase 2a completed in Respiratory Depression in which CX-717 demonstrated Ampakine's ability to both prevent and reverse opioid induced Respiratory Depression without diminishing the pain relieving properties of the opioid.   Ampakines have also demonstrated preclinically the ability to reverse barbiturate induced Respiratory Depression (Propofol), a clinical area without any current treatments (naloxone/Narcan does not work on barbiturates).   CX-717 also completed a Phase 2a  in ADHD  and showed statistically significant efficacy in both primary endpoints - the hyperactivity and the inattentiveness subscales.  Unlike current stimulant type ADHD drugs, Ampakines do not increase heart rate or blood pressure.  CX-717 also showed good efficacy in reversing the cognitive effects of Sleep Deprivation (UK study) -

Respiratory Depression Phase 2a results (CX-717) -

ADHD Phase 2a results (CX-717) -

Sleep Deprivation Phase 2a results (CX-717) (UK study) -


High Impact Ampakines - (upregulate BDNF)
With the ability to upregulate BDNF and other brain growth factors, high impact Ampakines may have the potential to slow, halt, or even reverse many neurodegenerative diseases.    Cortex's high impacts (Benzamide related) are different chemical families than the high impacts of other companies like Lilly, Glaxo, and Merck (Biarylpropylsulfonamides, Benzothiazides, etc).  In the 2008-2010 period, Cortex also developed and patented multiple new families of improved high impacts which are awaiting funding/partnership.     

CX-1632 - (S-47445) - Phase 1 completed, targeting Alzheimer's (Servier)

CX-1846 - Lead in-house high impact, awaiting IND enabling studies, possibly targeting Parkinson's

CX-1837 - High impact 


Key Press Releases -


July 1, 2014 - Cortex enters into a new licensing agreement with Univ of Illinois for use of cannabinoids in the treatment of Sleep Related Breathing Disorders -

Aug 14, 2012 - Cortex announces merger with Pier Pharmaceuticals in an all stock transaction -
Oct 6, 2011 -- Servier Exercises Option to Cortex's Ampakine CX1632, an Innovative Compound in Clinical Development for Alzheimer's Disease  --
Aug 24, 2011 -- Cortex Receives U.S. Patent for the use of Ampakine Molecules to Treat Respiratory Depression --
Apr 26, 2011 -- Cortex Receives Granted US Patent for its Lead AMPAKINE® Molecule CX-1739
Mar 16, 2011 -- Cortex Reacquires all Ampakine Compounds, Related Patents and Exclusive Global Rights for Respiratory Depression from Biovail  --
Feb 2, 2011 -- CX-1739 Improves Respiratory Parameters In Obstructive Sleep Apnea Patients --
Jul 6, 2010 - Funding from The Michael J. Fox Foundation to discover drug candidates for Parkinson's disease --
Aug, 2008 - Cortex's AMPAKINE Molecule CX717 Has Positive Effects in Opiate-Induced Respiratory Depression in a Phase IIa Clinical Study -
Q1-2006 - ADHD Phase 2a results (CX-717) -


Ampakines have the potential to address indications that range from orphan indications to $1 Billion plus sized markets -

Respiratory -

Opioid Induced Respiratory Depression -

--- Positive Phase 2a data with CX-717

--- Phase 2a with CX-1739 planned to start Q1-15 and complete Q3-15

Barbiturate Induced Respiratory Depression -

--- Phase 2a with CX-1739 planned using Propofol to start Q2-15 and complete Q4-15

Sleep Apnea (especially Central type SA) ---- (positive Phase 2a data with CX-1739)

Respiratory aspects of Sickle Cell Crisis

Neuro / Psych -

Low Impact Ampakines -
ADHD -------------------------------------------------------(positive Phase 2a data with CX-717)

Cognitive aspects of Alzheimer's Disease
Cognitive aspects of Schizophrenia
Cognitive aspects of Parkinson's
Cognitive aspects of Sleep Deprivation ----------(positive Phase 2a data with CX-717 - UK study)
MCI (Mild Cognitive Impairment)
Memory Loss due to ECT (Electroconvulsive therapy)
Memory Loss due to CABGS (Coronary Artery Bypass Graft Surgery)
EDS (Excessive Daytime Sleepiness)

High Impact Ampakines - (disease modifying via BDNF upregulation)
Alzheimers Disease
Parkinson's Disease
Huntington's Disease
ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis)
Rett's Syndrome
Angelman Syndrome
Fragile X
SCI (Spinal Cord Injury)
TBI (Traumatic Brain Injury)

Cortex company website:

Dr. Tracy (NI Research / NeuroPerspective) Cortex commentary:

Patent database : Ampa related patents -

Information website for Ampakines (not an official Cortex company website):

Research Paper abstracts for "Ampakines":

Yahoo Cortex Message Board:

Silicon Investor Cortex Message Board:

SEC Filings -

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Current Price
Bid Ask Day's Range
CORX News: Current Report Filing (8-k) 07/31/2015 04:31:58 PM
CORX News: Amended Current Report Filing (8-k/a) 07/10/2015 05:19:39 PM
CORX News: Current Report Filing (8-k) 07/09/2015 08:02:08 AM
CORX News: Current Report Filing (8-k) 07/08/2015 06:06:36 AM
CORX News: Statement of Changes in Beneficial Ownership (4) 07/06/2015 07:23:48 PM
#39318   Joey. Congrats. Looks like you called the bottom. drfreely 08/04/15 08:45:59 PM
#39317   Neuro, If you're out there, I was gfp927z 07/31/15 12:11:49 PM
#39316   Joey. Last summer was a good time to drfreely 07/23/15 12:51:10 PM
#39315   Have you been holding a position for a Joey Rosa 07/21/15 07:16:41 PM
#39314   I honestly think this is the bottom Joey Rosa 07/21/15 06:53:16 PM
#39313   If the slides presented are correct Dronibinol trials drfreely 07/17/15 09:47:02 AM
#39312   When is that? Joey Rosa 07/17/15 09:37:46 AM
#39311   Joey. You couldn't be more correct in your drfreely 07/17/15 09:36:50 AM
#39310   Chump change Joey Rosa 07/12/15 02:00:00 PM
#39309   Link to latest slides - gfp927z 07/11/15 10:31:45 AM
#39308   Research grant -- >>> Cortex Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Announces gfp927z 07/11/15 10:10:50 AM
#39307   drfeely Having trouble accessing the slides on the 8-k bridgrace 07/10/15 09:07:42 AM
#39306   Just read the July 9th slides. Message in drfreely 07/10/15 07:42:47 AM
#39305   1.71 cents. Someone wanted out pretty bad today. drfreely 06/22/15 03:33:30 PM
#39304   Thanks F4T, Exactly what I was looking for..... scstocks 06/15/15 03:25:23 PM
#39303   Hey Sc, food4thought 06/15/15 02:37:54 PM
#39302   Gfp, Thanks for digging. All that for a food4thought 06/15/15 02:18:30 PM
#39301   OT- Hello F4T, Hope you are doing well scstocks 06/15/15 11:55:35 AM
#39300   From the Form 144 filed on June 2, gfp927z 06/15/15 11:38:21 AM
#39299   Thanks to all of you regulars who have Dogleg9 06/13/15 02:02:47 PM
#39298   Glad to see some familiar names still here aoe 06/13/15 02:56:47 AM
#39297   It is my hope you get your 10 drfreely 06/12/15 04:34:15 PM
#39296   She was holding serve earlier on the year food4thought 06/12/15 04:08:56 PM
#39295   thanks, I think you nailed it. sparkyone 06/12/15 03:31:15 PM
#39294   Insights are anyone's guess. I've been part food4thought 06/12/15 01:30:07 PM
#39293   I have been a shareholder for a very sparkyone 06/12/15 10:16:10 AM
#39292   Should look at 10/30 days avg price (2c aoe 06/11/15 05:36:19 PM
#39291   aoe. True the 3 cent price of the drfreely 06/11/15 01:26:44 PM
#39290   If one wants to acquire 100m shares through aoe 06/10/15 08:10:24 AM
#39289   Per latest filing, it says 3c. Gl- aoe aoe 06/09/15 11:24:03 PM
#39288   Per latest filing, it says 3c. Gl- aoe aoe 06/09/15 11:24:03 PM
#39287   No aoe 06/09/15 11:22:58 PM
#39286   Unless I'm mistaken the current S.A. trial is drfreely 06/08/15 07:09:53 PM
#39285   Someone smarter than I should try to put BollixMeArse 06/08/15 04:14:58 PM
#39284   aoe. I don't think an investor willing to drfreely 06/08/15 02:24:15 PM
#39283 02opida 06/08/15 08:37:57 AM
#39282   Seems bunch of share been sold at 3c. aoe 06/06/15 03:01:27 PM
#39281   aoe. You were right about the numbers. I drfreely 06/03/15 05:04:00 PM
#39280   I believe it was .035 instead of .025 aoe 06/02/15 03:44:28 PM
#39279   Bollix. Its R.D. that keeps me hoping. drfreely 06/02/15 02:28:28 PM
#39278   The June issue of Scientific American, p. 28, meixatech 06/02/15 11:59:00 AM
#39277   How many people have to die because of BollixMeArse 06/01/15 12:40:12 PM
#39276   Another big volume day, close to a million gfp927z 05/27/15 12:07:51 PM
#39275   Thanks for your research into the bump downward. drfreely 05/26/15 05:52:51 PM
#39274   From the recent 10-Q, it looks like someone gfp927z 05/23/15 01:34:17 PM
#39273   Fwiw, here's a list of Cortex's beneficial owners, gfp927z 05/23/15 12:42:11 PM
#39272   Here's a quote from Cortex's VP of R+D gfp927z 05/23/15 12:09:03 PM
#39271   DrFreely, From the SEC filings on gfp927z 05/22/15 01:02:00 PM
#39270   gfp can be found around, sometimes on the scstocks 05/22/15 11:10:40 AM
#39269   Didn"t expect much from Dr. Greer"s presentation, but drfreely 05/21/15 03:33:16 PM