Acer Therapeutics Inc. (NASDAQ: ACER ) shares retreated on Wednesday. A pharmaceutical company focused on the development and commercialization of serious, rare and life-threatening diseases with significant unmet medical needs, today announced the expansion of a new indication for the reduction of ACER-801 (osanetant). Frequency and severity of major stress and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Acute stress disorder refers to the body’s immediate response to a traumatic event, while PTSD is defined as the long-term effects of trauma.
Research conducted at Emory University identified thousands of genes activated in the brains of mice following fear conditioning events. The most identified gene is Tac2, which is responsible for the production of the peptide, Neurokinin B (NKB), in mice. The researchers found that the Tac2 gene, which is specifically expressed by neurons in the amygdala, is required for the formation of fear memories, and that NKB and a specific receptor, NK3R, are involved in the consolidation of fear memories. By administering a potent and specific NK3R antagonist, osanetant, they were able to strengthen fear memory shortly after exposure to a traumatic event, which may provide a new therapeutic approach for disorders in which fear learning is altered, such as PTSD.1
“Immediately – from hours to several days – after exposure to a traumatic event, the memory remains in a latent state, the so-called memory consolidation period, and the consolidation of fear memory after exposure to trauma reduces the frequency and severity of PTSD in trauma patients,” said Kerry Ressler. MD, PhD, Chief Scientific Officer
ACER shares lost three cents, or 2.1%, to $1.42.