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Cara Therapeutics Announces Appointment of James B. Jones, M.D., Pharm.D., as Chief Medical Officer

SHELTON, Conn., March 30, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Cara Therapeutics, Inc. today announced the appointment of James B. Jones, M.D., Pharm.D., to the position of Chief Medical Officer.  In this role, Dr. Jones will oversee the ongoing clinical development of Cara's lead drug candidate, CR845, a novel, peripherally-restricted kappa opioid agonist, which is currently in Phase 2 development for treatment of post-operative pain.

"We are delighted to add someone of Jim's clinical background and drug development experience to the Cara team," said Derek Chalmers, President and CEO of Cara Therapeutics.  "We look forward to benefiting from his considerable success in developing novel analgesics as we continue the clinical development of CR845."

Dr. Jones most recently was the Chief Medical Officer at Strativa Pharmaceuticals, a division of Par Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Previously, he was the VP of Clinical Development and Medical Affairs at Xanodyne Pharmaceuticals where he was instrumental in the approval and subsequent launch of Zipsor™ (diclofenac potassium).  Prior to Xanodyne, Dr. Jones was VP of Clinical Development at Alpharma Pharmaceuticals where he was actively involved in the development of EMBEDA™ (morphine sulfate and naltrexone hydrochloride). Other analgesics/CNS compounds that Dr. Jones has worked on include Lusedra (fospropofol disodium) while at Guilford Pharmaceuticals as well as valdecoxib and parecoxib while at Pharmacia. Dr. Jones received his Doctorate of Medicine degree from the University of Pennsylvania and his Doctorate of Pharmacy from Purdue University.

"I am very enthusiastic to join Cara and to be involved in the clinical development of CR845," said Dr. Jones.  "I believe that CR845 has the potential to fill an important unmet medical need in the pain field and could serve as a new first-in-class and best-in-class peripherally acting kappa opioid agonist for the treatment of both acute post-op pain and chronic pain conditions."

About CR845

CR845 is a highly selective, peripherally restricted kappa opioid receptor agonist currently in Phase 2 clinical development for the treatment of post-operative pain.  A randomized, placebo-controlled Phase 2 study has provided evidence of analgesic efficacy of CR845 administered as a single intravenous dose to women following laparoscopic hysterectomy.  In this study, in addition to decreases in reported pain levels, patients receiving CR845 required substantially lower amounts of post-operative opioids and showed a significant reduction in the incidence of post-operative nausea. Cara recently completed a Phase 1b repeat dose safety study of intravenous CR845 and plans to initiate additional Phase 2 efficacy studies of the drug in 2011. In addition, the Company plans to initiate a phase 1 safety and pharmacokinetic study of an oral capsule formulation of CR845 shortly. More than 140 human subjects have been exposed to CR845 to date.  The safety profile of the drug has been excellent with no cases of dysphoric reactions or hallucinations as seen previously with centrally-acting kappa opioids.  

About Cara Therapeutics

Cara Therapeutics is a privately held biotechnology company focused on developing novel, superior therapeutics to treat pain and inflammation associated with diverse medical conditions. In addition to CR845, Cara's current pipeline includes near-term clinical development candidates within multiple proprietary classes of peripherally restricted cannabinoids with preclinical analgesic and anti-inflammatory activity. Cara also plans to develop entirely novel classes of analgesics that emerge from its proprietary GPCR DimerScreen™ technology.

Forward-Looking Statements

Certain statements in this press release are forward-looking statements that involve a number of risks and uncertainties. Such forward-looking statements include statements relating to the therapeutic applications of CR845 and about Cara's strategy, technologies, pre-clinical and clinical programs, and ability to identify and develop drugs, as well as other statements that are not historical facts. Actual events or results may differ materially from Cara's expectations. Factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from the forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, the timing, success and cost of Cara's research and clinical studies, and Cara's ability to obtain additional financing. These forward-looking statements represent Cara's judgment as of the date of this release. Cara disclaims any intent or obligation to update these forward-looking statements.

SOURCE Cara Therapeutics, Inc.
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