Monday, May 5, 1997
Finding opportunity in
adversity is critical to running a sustainable company. CoCensys Inc. (COCN,
Irvine, Calif.) is trying to do just that after partner Novartis Pharma AG
(Basel, Switzerland) said it would drop development of COCN's ACEA 1021
NMDA-receptor antagonist for stroke and head injury.
ACEA 1021 is a
quinoxiline dione that competes with glycine for binding NMDA receptors, at a
separate site from glutamate binding, to prevent the glutamate-induced calcium
influx that results in nerve damage during stroke. The compound was originally
licensed to Ciba-Geigy (now part of Novartis) in 1994 from Acea Pharmaceuticals
Inc., at the same time that COCN acquired Acea and the rights to 1021 (see
BioCentury May 23, 1994).