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COCENSYS INITIATES FIRST CLINICAL TRIAL FOR NOVEL PROPRIETARY NEUROLOGIC THERAPEUTIC

 COCENSYS INITIATES FIRST CLINICAL TRIAL FOR
 NOVEL PROPRIETARY NEUROLOGIC THERAPEUTIC
 IRVINE, Calif., March 10 /PRNewswire/ -- CoCensys, Inc. announced today that it is initiating the first human studies to determine safety and pharmacokinetics of a parent compound from a novel class of drugs, known as Epalons, for use in natural sleep induction. Discovered by researchers at CoCensys, Epalons naturally occur in the central nervous system (CNS), and have potential applications in treating and preventing many specific disorders of the brain. The current trials will be conducted at the Guy's Hospital in London, with enrollment of healthy patients as of February 1992.
 "We were very pleased to have received approval to initiate human studies of Epalon for the indication of insomnia and look forward to the results of the trial," said Daniel L. Korpolinski, CEO of CoCensys, Inc. "In addition, we anticipate launching Phase I trials of a lead Epalon candidate in the United States in early 1993."
 Researchers at CoCensys were the first to characterize the site of action of Epalons, compounds that interact with the gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) receptor, a widely prevalent receptor in the CNS that modulates neuronal activity. Based on this research, CoCensys is developing the Epalon class of compounds for use in the treatment and prevention of mood and behavioral disorders and neurological diseases. Initial targets for the compounds include three therapeutic categories: infantile spasms and other forms of epilepsy; generalized anxiety disorders and the emotional symptoms of premenstrual syndrome; and sleep induction.
 "Preliminary results of preclinical studies suggest that Epalons are more potent, yet have fewer side effects than commonly prescribed drugs, including benzodiazepines and barbiturates," said Robert G. McNeil, Ph.D., chairman of the board of CoCensys, Inc. "These findings have convinced us that we can develop an alternative to existing drugs that have attenuated severe side effects including interactions with alcohol."
 CoCensys, Inc., founded in 1989, is a privately held biopharmaceutical company focusing on the discovery of novel agents for the treatment of neurological diseases, including epilepsy and mood and behavioral disorders. In addition to the Epalon family of compounds, the company is actively identifying new drug classes, based on efforts by CoCensys researchers to characterize novel receptors and the ligands which interact with these receptors.
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 /CONTACT: Daniel L. Korpolinski, chief executive officer of CoCensys, 714-727-2683, or Karen Bergman of Burns McClellan, 212-545-1919, for CoCensys/ CO: CoCensys, Inc. ST: California IN: MTC SU:


SB-TS -- NY016 -- 6745 03/10/92 09:24 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Mar 10, 1992
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