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Cara Therapeutics Issued Additional U.S. Patent Covering the Expanded Use of Kappa Opioid Receptor Agonist CR845 and Analogs for the Treatment and Prevention of Pain-Related Conditions

SHELTON, Conn., Feb. 10, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Cara Therapeutics, Inc. (Nasdaq:CARA), a biopharmaceutical company focused on developing and commercializing new chemical entities designed to alleviate pain and pruritus by selectively targeting kappa opioid receptors, today announced the issuance of U.S. Patent No. 8,951,970 with claims covering the use of its lead clinical compound, CR845, and related compounds of this chemical class for the treatment and prevention of a broad range of pain-related conditions.

The issued patent includes claims directed to the use of CR845 in treating and preventing pain associated with arthritis, kidney stones, uterine cramping, diabetes, and gastrointestinal conditions such as inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Additional conditions covered by the claims include pain due to viral infections, such as post-herpetic neuralgia, chemotherapy-induced pain and neuropathic pain.

"We are pleased with the issuance of these latest U.S. patent claims, which provide a further layer of intellectual property protection when combined with our previously issued composition of matter claims for CR845 and its related analogs," said Derek Chalmers, Ph.D., D.Sc., President and Chief Executive Officer of Cara Therapeutics. "The breadth of our issued patent claims reflects the broad potential and clinical utility of CR845 in treating a spectrum of conditions associated with pain and chronic pruritus."

Patent No. 8,951,970 is the Company's latest in a series of U.S. patents covering CR845, its analogs and their clinical uses. Cara's issued U.S. patents, Nos. 7,402,564 and 7,727,963, include claims to CR845 and its uses for general pain and pruritus. Pruritus is a debilitating disorder associated with several medical conditions including renal disease, chronic liver disease, endocrine disorders and dermatological conditions. Cara Therapeutics owns patents with similar claims to CR845 and its analogs in over 30 European countries, as well as Australia, Canada, China, Japan, and Russia.

About CR845

CR845 is a peripherally acting kappa opioid receptor agonist currently in development for the treatment of acute and chronic pain and uremic pruritus. In multiple randomized, double blind, placebo-controlled Phase 2 trials in patients undergoing laparoscopic hysterectomy or bunionectomy procedures, I.V. CR845 treatment resulted in statistically significant reductions in pain intensity and opioid-related side effects. In over 400 subjects dosed to date, I.V. CR845 was found to be safe and well tolerated, without incurring the dysphoric and psychotomimetic side effects that have been reported with centrally acting (CNS-active) kappa opioid receptor agonists. In a human abuse liability trial, I.V. CR845 met the primary endpoint showing highly statistically significant reductions (p < 0.0001) in scores for "drug liking," as well as "feeling high," "overall liking," and "take drug again" when compared to I.V. pentazocine, a Schedule IV opioid analgesic.

About Cara Therapeutics

Cara Therapeutics is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on developing and commercializing new chemical entities designed to alleviate pain and pruritus by selectively targeting kappa opioid receptors. Cara is developing a novel and proprietary class of product candidates that target the body's peripheral nervous system and have demonstrated efficacy in patients with moderate-to-severe pain without inducing many of the undesirable side effects typically associated with currently available pain therapeutics.

Forward-looking Statements

Statements contained in this press release regarding matters that are not historical facts are "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Examples of these forward-looking statements include statements concerning the expected timing for the Company's Phase 2 trial of I.V. CR845 in dialysis patients experiencing uremic pruritus, the design and the potential for successful results of the trial, the timing of the reporting of the topline results of the trial, as well as the potential future regulatory and development milestones for the Company's product candidates. Because such statements are subject to risks and uncertainties, actual results may differ materially from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. Risks are described more fully in Cara Therapeutics' filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including the "Risk Factors" section of the Company's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2013 and its other documents subsequently filed with or furnished to the Securities and Exchange Commission. All forward-looking statements contained in this press release speak only as of the date on which they were made. Cara Therapeutics undertakes no obligation to update such statements to reflect events that occur or circumstances that exist after the date on which they were made.

CONTACT: CORPORATE CONTACT: Derek Chalmers, Ph.D., D.Sc. President & CEO Cara Therapeutics, Inc. 203-567-1500 MEDIA CONTACT: Annie Starr 6 Degrees 973-415-8838 astarr@6degreespr.com INVESTOR CONTACT: Jesse Baumgartner Stern Investor Relations, Inc. 212-362-1200 Jesse@sternir.com

Source:Cara Therapeutics