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 publication of a peer reviewed study in Neuroscience Letters that validates the mechanism of action of clavulanic acid, the active compound in Serdaxin ®, the company’s lead CNS drug currently in Phase II clinical development for major depressive disorder.
The published study, “Clavulanic acid increases dopamine release in neuronal cells through a mechanism involving enhanced vesicle trafficking,” shows that clavulanic acid enhances release of neurotransmitters such as dopamine in the brain cell by interacting with key proteins for vesicle trafficking and fusion.
“This study is significant because it confirms at the molecular and cellular levels how Serdaxin enhances the release of neurotransmitters in the brain. Previous studies demonstrated the release of serotonin and dopamine in the brain by clavulanic acid in live animals. These results strongly support that Serdaxin's CNS effects may be due to an enhanced release of the dual neurotransmitters, called as the SERDA mechanism.” said Dr. Chang Ahn, Chairman and CEO of Rexahn.
Dr. Ahn elaborated, “Because the effectiveness of currently marketed therapies that modulate serotonin reuptake is significantly limited, there exists very strong therapeutic needs for depression patients who are non-responders, are relapsed, or are non-compliant due to adverse reactions of those therapeutics. Serdaxin positions itself to address these therapeutic and safety needs as the first SERDA antidepressant with excellent safety profile.”Dr. Michael Thase, Chairman of the Depression Scientific Advisory Board of Rexahn, said, “This study illustrates that clavulanic acid may have important effects on monoaminergic neurotransmission, that are the result of interaction with vesicle trafficking and fusion through a novel mechanism involving Munc18 and Rab proteins. Enhancing the release of both dopamine and serotonin to physiological levels in the brain may prove to have novel therapeutic implications for those who suffer from major depressive disorder and other neurological disorders.”