Neuralstem, Inc. (NYSE Amex: CUR) announced that it has received notice of allowance for U.S. Patent Applications 12/939,897 and 12/939,914 entitled: "Compositions to Effect Neuronal Growth." The patents cover three new compounds and include both structure and method claims for inducing neurogenesis and the growth of new neurons, both in-vitro and in-vivo.
Neuralstem's first neurogenic patented compound is currently in a Phase I FDA-approved safety trial in major depressive disorder. The Phase Ia trial, which is in healthy volunteers, is scheduled to be completed in August. The Phase Ib safety trial in depressed patients is expected to commence this fall.
"These patents cover additional new chemical entities from our neurogenic program and broaden our potential clinical development pipeline," said Karl Johe, Ph.D., Neuralstem Chairman and Chief Scientific Officer. "Our proprietary neural stem cell technology allows for a unique window into the process of neurogenesis. Through this, we've discovered novel chemical compounds that are truly neurogenic. We believe that our portfolio of neurogenic compounds will be at the forefront of novel treatments for psychiatric and cognitive diseases that focus on neural regeneration, not just brain chemistry."
"This is also an important validation of our screening platform," said Richard Garr, Neuralstem President & CEO. "We are not only able to identify neurogenic and neuroprotective compounds by screening against our cells, but we can also identify novel, patentable compounds, across a diverse chemical library. As the patents run out across the industry on many CNS drugs, we believe Neuralstem is well-positioned to provide value to our future development partners."