RespireRx Pharmaceuticals Inc. Establishes ResolutionRx Ltd in Australia to Develop Its Pharmaceutical Cannabinoid Platform

Glen Rock, N.J., Jan. 12, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — RespireRx Pharmaceuticals Inc. (OTC Markets: RSPI) (“RespireRx” or the “Company”), a leader in the discovery and development of innovative and revolutionary treatments to combat diseases caused by disruption of neuronal signaling, is pleased to announce that, on January 11, 2023, it established ResolutionRx Ltd (“ResolutionRx”), a new, currently wholly-owned, unlisted public company in Australia, as the first in a series of steps that include, but are not limited to financings, research and clinical development, manufacturing, regulatory and compliance, all for the purpose of developing compounds that target the body’s endocannabinoid system, and in particular, the re-purposing of dronabinol, an endocannabinoid CB1 and CB2 receptor agonist, for the treatment of obstructive sleep apnea (“OSA”). The Company will contribute certain dronabinol assets and certain liabilities to ResolutionRx.

One of the main purposes for the creation of ResolutionRx was to allow it to participate in the Australian research and development tax credit which in the case of ResolutionRx, is a refund of 43.5% of qualified research and development expenditures as reported on ResolutionRx’s Australian tax return. ResolutionRx is in late stage discussions with an Australia based fund to establish a finance facility secured by the tax credits in order to finance a substantial percentage of the credit associated with the qualified expenditiures over the course of the research and development timeline in advance of the final receipt of the tax credit funds. In addition, ResolutionRx is in late stage negotiations for an equity or equity-linked financing of up to 25% of the research and development budget to be used exclusively to support the research and development budget. Inherent in this financing is a commitment to list ResolutionRx on the Australian Stock Exchange (ASX). ResolutionRx’s intent is to list on the ASX and one or more public exchanges outside of Australia, including the United States.

As the Company has previously announced, in support of ResolutionRx, we have entered into a letter of intent and is preparing a final, definitive agreement with an Australian headquartered, bespoke specialty contract research organization (“CRO”) exclusively focused on cannabinoid and psychedelic clinical research. This CRO is expected to provide full service CRO services, including regulatory, compliance and manufacturing services, either directly or through sub-contractors, in addition to conducting human pharmacokinetic and pivotal efficacy and safety studies of dronabinol. It is anticipated that RespireRx will use, at least initially, its management personnel to provide management, operational and oversight services to ResolutionRx.

According to Jeff Margolis, Chief Financial officer of RespireRx and a Director of ResolutionRx, “We believe that creating ResolutionRx has made it possible to access finance channels separate from and possibly in addition to those of the Company, in order to unlock the unrealized asset values of our pharmaceutical cannabinoid program. We also believe that this will enable us to accelerate the development of dronabinol for OSA with cost effective access to capital while accessing certain financial incentives available in Australia.”

Arnold Lippa, Executive Chairman, Interim CEO and Interim President and Chief Scientific Officer of RespireRx and a Director of ResolutionRx, “I look forward to building this new company and working with our new Australian colleagues. I hope that this approach might interest other small biotech companies to seek novel approaches for overcoming some of the limitations experienced in the United States financial markets.”

About RespireRx Pharmaceuticals Inc.

RespireRx Pharmaceuticals Inc. is a leader in the discovery and development of medicines for the treatment of psychiatric and neurological disorders, with a focus on treatments that address conditions affecting millions of people, but for which there are few or poor treatment options, including obstructive sleep apnea (“OSA”), attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (“ADHD”), epilepsy, pain, recovery from spinal cord injury (“SCI”), and certain neurological orphan diseases . RespireRx is developing a pipeline of new and re-purposed drug products based on our broad patent portfolios for two drug platforms: (i) pharmaceutical cannabinoids, which include dronabinol, a synthetic form of ∆9-tetrahydrocannabinol (“Δ9-THC”) that acts upon the nervous system’s endogenous cannabinoid receptors and (ii) neuromodulators, which include AMPAkines and GABAkines, proprietary chemical entities that positively modulate (positive allosteric modulators or “PAMs”) AMPA-type glutamate receptors and GABAA receptors, respectively.

The Company holds exclusive licenses and owns patents and patent applications or rights thereto for certain families of chemical compounds that claim the chemical structures and their uses in the treatment of a variety of disorders, as well as claims for novel uses of known drugs.

ResolutionRx: Pharmaceutical Cannabinoids

Dronabinol. RespireRx’s ResolutionRx subsidiary is developing dronabinol, ∆-9-THC, a synthetic version of the naturally occurring substance in the cannabis plant, for the treatment of OSA, a serious respiratory disorder that impacts an estimated 29.4 million people in the United States according to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (“AASM”), published in August 2016. OSA has been linked to increased risk for hypertension, heart failure, depression, and diabetes, and has an annual economic cost in the United States of $162 billion according to the AASM. There are no approved drug treatments for OSA.

Two Phase 2 clinical trials have been completed demonstrating the ability of dronabinol to significantly reduce the symptoms of OSA and, subject to raising sufficient financing (of which no assurance can be provided) ResolutionRx believes that it will be able to commence a pharmacokinetic study, which it intends to conduct in Australia for a recently discovered formulation followed by a Phase 3 international clinical study for the treatment of OSA with the new formulation. Some or all of the human clinical studies are pending the the outcome of an intended meeting with the US FDA. Because dronabinol is already FDA approved for the treatment of AIDS related anorexia and chemotherapy induced nausea and vomiting, the Company further believes that its re-purposing strategy would only require approval by the FDA of a 505(b)(2) new drug application (“NDA”), an efficient regulatory pathway that allows the use of publicly available data. 

EndeavourRx: Neuromodulators

GABAkines. Under a License Agreement with the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Research Foundation, Inc. (“UWMRF”) and on behalf of its EndeavourRx business unit, RespireRx has licensed rights to certain selectively acting GABAkines because of their ability to selectively amplify inhibitory neurotransmission at a highly specific, subset of GABAA receptors, thus producing a unique efficacy profile with reduced side effects. Preclinical studies have documented their efficacy in a broad array of animal models of interrelated neurological and psychiatric disorders including epilepsy, pain, anxiety, and depression in the absence of or with greatly reduced propensity to produce sedation, motor-impairment, tolerance, dependence and abuse. The Company currently is focusing on developing KRM-II-81 for the treatment of epilepsy and pain.

KRM-II-81 has displayed a high degree of anti-convulsant activity in a broad range of preclinical studies, including in treatment resistant and pharmaco-resistant models. Not only was KRM-II-81 highly effective in these models, but pharmaco-resistance or tolerance did not develop to its anti-convulsant properties. These latter results are particularly important because pharmaco-resistance occurs when medications that once controlled seizures lose efficacy as a result of chronic use and it is a principal reason some epileptic patients require brain surgery to control their seizures. In support of its potential clinical efficacy, translational studies have demonstrated the ability of KRM-II-81 to dramatically reduce epileptiform electrical activity when administered in situ to brain slices excised from treatment resistant epileptic patients undergoing surgery.

In addition, KRM-II-81 has displayed a high degree of analgesic activity in a broad range of preclinical studies. In intact animal models of pain, the analgesic efficacy of KRM-II-81 was comparable to or greater than commonly used analgesics. At the same time, KRM-II-81 did not display side effects such as sedation and motor impairment, but even more importantly, it did not produce tolerance, dependence, respiratory depression or behavioral changes indicative of abuse liability, which are produced by opioid narcotics and are at the heart of the opioid epidemic.

AMPAkines. Through an extensive translational research effort from the cellular level through Phase 2 clinical trials, the Company has developed a family of novel, low impact AMPAkines, including CX717, CX1739 and CX1942 that may have clinical application in the treatment of CNS-driven neurobehavioral and cognitive disorders, spinal cord injury, neurological diseases, and certain orphan indications. Our lead clinical compounds, CX717 and CX1739, have successfully completed multiple Phase 1 safety trials. Both compounds have also completed Phase 2 proof of concept trials demonstrating target engagement, by antagonizing the ability of opioids to induce respiratory depression.

AMPAkines have demonstrated positive activity in animal models of ADHD, results that have been extended translationally into statistically significant improvement of symptoms observed in a Phase 2 human clinical trial of CX717 in adult patients with ADHD. Statistically significant therapeutic effects were observed within one week. We believe AMPAkines may represent a novel, non-stimulant treatment for ADHD with a more rapid onset of action than alternative non stimulants, such as Straterra® (atomoxetine), and without the drawbacks of amphetamine-type stimulants.

In a series of important studies funded by grants from the National Institutes of Health and published in a number of peer reviewed articles, Dr. David Fuller (University of Florida), a long-time RespireRx collaborator, has demonstrated the ability of CX1739 and CX717, the Company’s lead AMPAkines, to improve motor nerve activity and muscle function in animal models of spinal cord injury (SCI).

Additional information about RespireRx and the matters discussed herein can be obtained on the Company’s web-site at www.RespireRx.com or in the Company’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission at www.sec.gov.

Not a Securities Offering or Solicitation

This communication shall not constitute an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to buy any securities, nor shall there be any sales of securities in any jurisdiction in which such offer, solicitation or sale of securities would be unlawful before registration or qualification under the laws of such jurisdiction.

Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements

This press release contains certain forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended (the “Securities Act”) and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended (the “Exchange Act”), and the Company intends that such forward-looking statements be subject to the safe harbor created thereby. These might include statements regarding the Company’s future plans, targets, estimates, assumptions, financial position, business strategy and other plans and objectives for future operations, and assumptions and predictions about research and development efforts, including, but not limited to, preclinical and clinical research design, execution, timing, costs and results, future product demand, supply, manufacturing, costs, marketing and pricing factors.

In some cases, forward-looking statements may be identified by words including “assumes,” “could,” “ongoing,” “potential,” “predicts,” “projects,” “should,” “will,” “would,” “anticipates,” “believes,” “intends,” “estimates,” “expects,” “plans,” “contemplates,” “targets,” “continues,” “budgets,” “may,” or the negative of these terms or other comparable terminology, although not all forward-looking statements contain these words, and such statements may include, but are not limited to, statements regarding (i) future research plans, expenditures and results, (ii) potential collaborative arrangements, (iii) the potential utility of the Company’s product candidates, (iv) reorganization plans, and (v) the need for, and availability of, additional financing. Forward-looking statements are based on information available at the time the statements are made and involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause our results, levels of activity, performance or achievements to be materially different from the information expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements in this press release.

These factors include but are not limited to, regulatory policies or changes thereto, available cash, research and development results, issuance of patents, competition from other similar businesses, interest of third parties in collaborations with us, and market and general economic factors, and other risk factors disclosed in “Item 1A. Risk Factors” in the Company’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2021, as filed with the SEC on April 15, 2022 (the “2021 Form 10-K”).

You should read these risk factors and the other cautionary statements made in the Company’s filings as being applicable to all related forward-looking statements wherever they appear in this press release. We cannot assure you that the forward-looking statements in this press release will prove to be accurate and therefore prospective investors, as well as potential collaborators and other potential stakeholders, are encouraged not to place undue reliance on forward-looking statements. You should read this press release completely. Other than as required by law, we undertake no obligation to update or revise these forward-looking statements, even though our situation may change in the future.

We caution investors, as well as potential collaborators and other potential stakeholders, not to place undue reliance on any forward-looking statement that speaks only as of the date made and to recognize that forward-looking statements are predictions of future results, which may not occur as anticipated. Actual results could differ materially from those anticipated in the forward-looking statements and from historical results, due to the risks and uncertainties described in the 2021 Form 10-K and in this press release, as well as others that we may consider immaterial or do not anticipate at this time. These forward-looking statements are based on assumptions regarding the Company’s business and technology, which involve judgments with respect to, among other things, future scientific, economic, regulatory and competitive conditions, collaborations with third parties, and future business decisions, all of which are difficult or impossible to predict accurately and many of which are beyond the Company’s control. Although we believe that the expectations reflected in our forward-looking statements are reasonable, we do not know whether our expectations will prove correct. Our expectations reflected in our forward-looking statements can be affected by inaccurate assumptions that we might make or by known or unknown risks and uncertainties, including those described in the 2021 Form 10-K and in this press release. These risks and uncertainties are not exclusive and further information concerning us and our business, including factors that potentially could materially affect our financial results or condition, may emerge from time to time.

For more information about the risks and uncertainties the Company faces, see “Item 1A. Risk Factors” in our 2021 Form 10-K. Forward-looking statements speak only as of the date they are made. The Company does not undertake and specifically declines any obligation to update any forward-looking statements or to publicly announce the results of any revisions to any statements to reflect new information or future events or developments. We advise investors, as well as potential collaborators and other potential stakeholders, to consult any further disclosures we may make on related subjects in our annual reports on Form 10-K and other reports that we file with or furnish to the SEC.

Company Contact:

Jeff Margolis
Senior Vice President, Chief Financial Officer, Treasurer and Secretary
Telephone: 917-834-7206
Email: [email protected]
RespireRx Pharmaceuticals Inc.
126 Valley Road, Suite C
Glen Rock, NJ 07452
www.respirerx.com

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