Neuren Pharmaceuticals (ASX:NEU) is doubling down on a new drug for children cruelly cut down by neurodevelopmental diseases and says it works in mice.

The biotech bounced by 50 per cent to highs of $1.55 this morning after reporting that its secondary drug candidate NNZ-2591 works in the lab.

NNZ-2591 a synthetic version of cyclic glycine proline (cGP), which occurs naturally in the brain and is critical for postnatal brain development and adult cognition.

  • Scroll down for the ASX’s other health and biotech movements today.

In mice, NNZ-2591 improved symptoms associated with Angelman syndrome and Pitt-Hopkins syndrome, including anxiety, motor and cognitive performance, learning and memory.

In the past, it’s been shown to have an effect — still in the lab — on Parkinson’s disease, stroke recovery, traumatic brain injury, peripheral neuropathy, Fragile X syndrome, Phelan-McDermid syndrome, memory impairment and multiple sclerosis.

This morning Neuren told investors it could add two further afflictions to that impressive line-up: Angelman syndrome and Pitt-Hopkins syndrome, genetic disorders that cause developmental delay amid a range of other issues.

The next steps for the drug are manufacturing development and toxicity studies, as well as Phase I safety clinical trials.

Neuren hopes to begin phase 2 trials by the end of 2020.

Neuren’s main drug is called trofinetide, which it’s preparing for phase 3 clinical trials.

It’s also successfully completed phase 2 trials for Rett syndrome, a horrible disease affecting little girls, and the genetic disorder Fragile X syndrome.

In other biotech news this morning:

Rhinomed (ASX:RNO) gets crucial regulatory approval for itsPronto technology, the basis of the company’s sleep and nasal decongestant devices.

It’s been registered with the US Food and Drug Administration and the Australian Therapeutic Goods Administration and sales are to begin after June. Shares rose 12 per cent.

Immutep (ASX:IMM) releases more data. Patients undergoing treatment in Immutep’s ongoing TACTI-mel trial receive a combination of Immutep’s eftilagimod with the established therapy KEYTRUDA, and results are showing that, after nine months, tumour reduction continues. Shares rose 3 per cent.