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CORTEX MEMORY ENHANCEMENT DRUG EFFECTIVE IN PRE CLINICAL TRIALS, MAJOR SCIENTIFIC JOURNAL REPORTS; PROSPECTIVE TREATMENT FOR MILD DEMENTIA OF ALZHEIMER'S AND OTHER DIEASES

 IRVINE, Calif., Jan. 17 /PRNewswire/ -- A pre-clinical Cortex (NASDAQ: CORX) drug has been found effective in enhancing memory and learning in animal tests, according to a report in tomorrow's issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS). PNAS is published by the National Academy of Sciences, a private, non-profit organization designated as an official adviser to the Federal Government on science and technology.
 Study author Gary Lynch, Ph.D., Professor of Psychobiology at the University of California at Irvine, and Company co-founder, noted that the Cortex compound, from a new class of compounds known as AMPAKINES(TM), is the first to act specifically on the molecular interactions in the brain that are believed to be critical to memory formation.
 Cortex plans to initiate human clinical trials this year to determine if the agent is safe, and if it can contribute to the management of mild dementia such as is caused by Alzheimer's disease. Alzheimer's disease is a fatal neurodegenerative condition affecting 4 million Americans that imposes a financial toll estimated at $80 billion a year for diagnosis, custodial care, and other direct and indirect expenses, and whose human costs are incalculable.
 PNAS STUDY IS BASIS FOR CORTEX DRUG DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM
 Dr. Lynch explained that recent studies have precisely identified several biochemical processes that are likely to be critical to the formation of long- and short-term memory. These processes are the culmination of continual transmission of sensory information via millions of brief electrical pulses through the brain. The pulses are relayed across gaps (synapses) between nerve cells by neurotransmitters acting on receptors. The major receptor for fast communication in the brain, is the AMPA variant of glutamate receptor. The drug developed by Dr. Lynch and collaborators enhances the operation of the AMPA receptor and thereby facilitates synaptic communication.
 In addition, recent research has shown that the potency of synaptic responses is closely related to the amount of brain activity needed to induce long-term potentiation (LTP), a physiological effect widely held to be the substrate of many forms of memory. "LTP is associated with the specific electrical activity in the brain related to learning and cognition -- it is almost as if the brain is rewiring itself, on a molecular level, during these processes," Dr. Lynch noted. By increasing the activity of a specific neuronal receptor (AMPA), the new AMPAKINE compounds appear to increase the efficiency of LTP in a selective manner.
 "In many age-related degenerative disorders of the nervous system, such as Alzheimer's, a significant portion of the brain's billions of synapses are lost, directly affecting memory and learning," noted Dr. Lynch. "Our PNAS report demonstrates that AMPAKINES may help compensate for the loss of these synapses by boosting the response of the remaining synapses.
 "AMPAKINES(TM) are aimed directly at those biochemical elements of the nervous system that decline with age and Alzheimer's disease," Dr. Lynch commented. The agent in the PNAS study was selected from among 150 compounds developed by Lynch and his co-workers and recently in-licensed by Cortex for clinical development. The compound has the capability to freely penetrate the "blood-brain barrier" after oral administration, an important consideration for drugs targeting the central nervous system.
 Documented animal tests show that the Cortex AMPAKINE compound improves both short and long-term memory ability in animals, Lynch observed. He indicated that no toxic reactions have been observed with repeated administration of the AMPAKINE compound at therapeutic doses. Longer-term toxicology studies are underway.
 Alan A. Steigrod, President and Chief Executive Officer of Cortex, noted that this research illustrates an exemplary collaboration of academic and industry resources to address the enormous unmet medical and emotional needs created by memory loss and cognitive deficits from Alzheimer's disease and similar conditions.
 "Additional studies are planned to ascertain the potential therapeutic benefits and clinical risks of this compound," Steigrod said. "At this point, however, we are optimistic about the benefit that this product may have for the millions of patients afflicted with deficits of memory and cognition."
 The PNAS study was co-authored by Ursula Staubli, Ph.D., Center for Neural Sciences, New York University; Gary Rogers, Ph.D., Neuroscience Research Institute, University of California, Santa Barbara; and Dr. Lynch. The research was supported by grants from the Air Force Office of Scientific Research.
 ABOUT CORTEX PHARMACEUTICALS, INC.
 Cortex is a publicly-traded company whose primary mission is to discover and develop novel drugs for the treatment of age-related neurological diseases and disorders. The company was started in 1987 by its three scientific founders: Ralph A. Bradshaw, Ph.D., Carl W. Cotman, Ph.D., and Gary S. Lynch, Ph.D., all of the University of California at Irvine. Core programs at Cortex, which is headquartered in Irvine, are directed toward the development of pharmaceuticals for the treatment of memory impairment and cognitive deficits associated with mild dementia and, over the longer term, for slowing or stopping the underlying disease pathology of Alzheimer's disease.
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 /CONTACT: (Investors) Alan A. Steigord, President, Chief Executive Officer, or Scott Hagan, Vice President, Chief Financial Officer, 714-727-3157, both of Cortex; or (media) Peter Steinerman of Ruder-Finn, 212-715-1677/
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CO: Cortex Pharmaceutical Inc. ST: California IN: MTC SU: PDT

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