POSTED: July 17, 2015

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M., July 15, 2015 – - Zocere, Inc., a New Mexico-based pharmaceutical company announces issuance of U.S. Patent No. 9,068,172 for its biologic-based “brain saving” drug. Derived from a STEP protein, the drug is a cell-permeable, recombinant peptide that shows promise as a potent neuroprotectant when administered post stroke. Zocere’s drug also holds the potential for treating other severe brain injuries, including sports and trauma-related concussions.

Zocere is the exclusive licensee of the patent from STC.UNM, the University of New Mexico’s technology transfer organization, and has exclusive global rights to the technology and international patents pending. The drug has the potential to become the first neuroprotectant biologic on the market.

The U.S. healthcare system has few pharmaceutical options for stroke and brain injuries. Each year there are an estimated 750,000 acute ischemic strokes in the United States and more than two million worldwide. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), stroke costs the nation $34 billion annually, including the cost of health care services, medications, and lost productivity. CDC also reports that traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a serious public health problem in the United States; in 2010, 2.5 million TBIs occurred either as an isolated injury or along with other injuries.

Zocere CEO Wayne Laslie said the U.S. patent issued for the company’s neuroprotectant drug is welcome news for victims of stroke and traumatic brain injury and for the U.S. healthcare system, which seeks to control healthcare and disability costs associated with stroke and TBIs. “Just three to five percent of stroke victims receive pharmacologic treatment because of risks associated with current therapies. Victims of traumatic brain injuries also have few drug-based treatment options. This patent puts Zocere a significant step closer to bringing a new therapeutic option to the hundreds of thousands of people who suffer a brain injury each year and helping them avoid long-term disability.”

Zocere has succeeded in raising over a half million dollars, and is seeking capital investment of up to $5 million to further develop its drug candidate for the Investigational New Drug (IND) process.