Tonix Pharma (TNXP) Announces Issuance of U.S. Patent for Compositions and Uses of Tianeptine Oxalate Salt, the Active Ingredient of TNX-601 CR

March 19, 2021 7:03 AM EDT
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Tonix Pharmaceuticals Holding Corp. (Nasdaq: TNXP) (Tonix or the Company), a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company, today announced that the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office issued U.S. Patent No. 10,946,027 to the Company on March 16, 2021. Tianeptine oxalate is the active pharmaceutical ingredient of Tonix’s development candidate, TNX-601 CR (tianeptine oxalate and naloxone controlled-release tablet). The new patent, “Tianeptine Oxalate Salts and Polymorphs,” includes claims directed to pharmaceutical compositions comprising crystalline tianeptine oxalate salts, to methods of using those compositions to treat various disorders, and to methods of producing the oxalate salts. This patent is expected to provide Tonix with U.S. market exclusivity until December 28, 2037, excluding any patent term extensions.

Tonix’s TNX-601 CR is a novel oral formulation of one of the claimed tianeptine oxalate salts, which is being developed as a potential treatment for major depressive disorder (MDD), posttraumatic stress disorder and neurocognitive dysfunction associated with corticosteroid use. Tianeptine sodium (amorphous) immediate release (IR) has been available in Europe for the treatment of depression for more than three decades, first marketed in France in 1989. Tianeptine sodium IR is also marketed in many countries in Asia and Latin America. No tianeptine-containing product has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

TNX-601 CR is designed for once daily dosing, which is believed to provide an adherence advantage relative to the three times per day, or t.i.d. dosing, of the immediate-release tianeptine sodium salt products available in Europe and other jurisdictions around the world. The crystalline tianeptine oxalate of the patented compositions is believed to provide improved stability, consistency, and manufacturability as compared to the amorphous sodium salt.

“We are pleased with the issuance of the new patent that protects pharmaceutical compositions and uses of salts of tianeptine oxalate,” said Seth Lederman, M.D., President and Chief Executive Officer of Tonix Pharmaceuticals. “We believe that the expected period of patent protection, together with the scope and term of our earlier U.S. patents directed to tianeptine and its salts, warrants the further development of tianeptine for the U.S. market. The mechanism of TNX-601 CR in treating depression is distinct from any other antidepressant available in the U.S.”

“The issuance of this patent is the fruit of Tonix’s internal discovery efforts,” said Siobhan Fogarty, Executive Vice President of Product Development of Tonix Pharmaceuticals. “We believe the physiochemical properties of the crystalline oxalate salt are superior to the amorphous sodium salt marketed in Europe and other parts of the world, and together with our controlled-release technology will provide a once-daily dosage product.”

Tianeptine indirectly modulates the glutamatergic pathway via altered AMPA and NMDA receptor neurotransmission, and plays a role in promoting brain neuroplasticity under conditions of stress or corticosteroid use. Tonix has added naloxone to the TNX-601 CR tablet as a deterrent to parenteral abuse, because tianeptine is a weak mu-opioid receptor agonist and has been linked to illicit misuse at much higher doses than those reported to be effective in the treatment of MDD.

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