RespireRx nets mixed results in Phase 2
- New Jersey-based RespireRx Pharmaceuticals on Thursday released mixed results for CX1739, its treatment for opioid-induced respiratory depression and sleep apnea.
- In a Phase 2a study, CX1739 reduced respiratory rate depression in patients receiving an infusion of the opioid remifentanil without affecting pain relief. Results for the 300 mg and 900 mg doses were significant, but not for 600 mg.
- A second part of the study used a bolus injection of remifentanil to model opioid overdose. In that setting, CX1739 had no effect on preventing respiratory depression and did not improve time to recovery at any dose.
Opioids are the most commonly prescribed drugs in the U.S., with 245 million prescriptions given out by retail pharmacies in 2014. However, the powerful analgesics can suppress breathing, particularly during sleep, and cause up to half of all cases of central sleep apnea, according to RespireRx.
Respiratory depression can happen with everyday use of opioids for pain as well. Opioid antagonists are useful for reversing an overdose, but aren't as appropriate for patients using the drug correctly since the antagonists would block desired pain relief.
While the results from this study were mixed, Arnold Lippa, executive chair and chief scientific officer at RespireRx, remained upbeat, stating that the company is “pleased with the positive results of our recent Phase 2A study which encourages us to take CX1739 forward in additional studies."
RespireRx plans to carry out further studies testing the drug in post-surgical patients self-administering opioids in a hospital setting as well as in treatment of central sleep apnea among out-patients taking oral opioids chronically for pain management. No further details have been announced.
- RespireRx Pharmaceuticals Statement
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