This newly discovered
class of drugs is called " Ampakine's ".
In 1993, Cortex
licensed a new class of compounds, the AMPAKINEs ®,
from the University of California.
AMPAKINEs enhance the functioning of the AMPA-type
by increasing the amount of current flow that takes place when glutamate
binds to the receptor.
Dr. Gary Lynch, Professor of Psychobiology at the University
of California, Irvine and a Cortex
co-founder and Scientific Advisor, has developed a variety of model systems
for examining aspects of brain activity and memory formation. These range
from complex culture techniques to animal behavioral models. Dr. Lynch's
laboratory has extensively characterized the mechanism of action of AMPAKINEs and has shown that the compounds facilitate long-term potentiation. It is apparently through this activity that they improve the encoding of memory.
The first major results of AMPAKINE testing in animal
behavioral models of learning and memory were reported in 1994 in the prestigious
journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. In tests of both
short- and long-term memory, AMPAKINE-treated rats performed better than
control animals. The
authors concluded that "facilitation of [excitatory] transmission causes a general improvement in memory encoding."
The University of California and Cortex have filed a number of broad patent applications covering the AMPAKINEs, and Cortex presently has about 200 compounds in its AMPAKINE "library."
For several years, Cortex
has been studying an AMPAKINE, CX516,
in human clinical trials with healthy young adult and elderly volunteers.
In each of the three clinical studies that have been completed, CX516
was shown to be safe and well tolerated upon acute administration and to
have statistically significant positive effects on memory performance.
Cortex initiated Phase I/IIa studies in patients,
as opposed to healthy volunteers, early in 1997.
What is Ampalex (CX516)?
(CX516) is an experimental drug which stimulates some of the chemical
messengers in the brain. It is known as an AMPAkine, named for the type of chemical messenger. This drug is being studied to determine whether it can improve some features of Alzheimer's disease.
Frequently Asked Questions About Ampalex (CX516)
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Welcome to Cortex Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
AMPA Receptor Program