Cortex Pharmaceuticals Inc. is a neuroscience company focused on novel drug therapies for treating psychiatric disorders, neurological diseases and sleep apnea. The company is pioneering a class of proprietary pharmaceuticals called AMPAKINE compounds, which act to increase the strength of signals at connections between brain cells.

The company announced today that it has entered into an agreement with Biovail (NYSE: BVF). In the agreement, Biovail acquired certain AMPAKINE compounds and the rights to the patent filing for respiratory depression and vaso-occlusive crises associated with sickle cell disease. The transaction with Biovail includes a purchase price of $10 million and additional payments of up to $15 million based upon defined clinical development milestones.

The agreement includes the transfer of rights to Biovail for certain AMPAKINE compounds, including the Phase II compound CX717, the pre-clinical compounds CX1763 and CX1942, and the injectable dosage form of CX1739 and the indication of respiratory depression. Cortex retains its rights to non-injectable dosage forms of CX1739 for all uses outside of respiratory depression. The transaction follows earlier results from two of the company’s Phase IIa studies in which administration of CX717 prevented the onset of respiratory depression induced by an opioid, while preserving the opioid’s pain relieving effects.

Cortex also retains all rights to the non-acquired AMPAKINE compounds for treatment of psychiatric diseases and neurodegenerative diseases which historically have been part of its portfolio. The president and CEO of Cortex Pharmaceuticals, Mark A. Varney, Ph.D., stated, “As a result of this transaction, we will be in the position to continue the oral Phase IIa sleep apnea trial with CX1739 and to initiate a Phase II clinical trial for the treatment of ADHD very soon. Additionally, we are pushing ahead to develop the CX2007 and CX2076 series of compounds and move one of those analogs into the clinic as soon as possible.”