<< Back

Nocion Therapeutics identifies lead clinical candidate for refractory chronic cough and expands the management team


With the addition of a CBO and SVP Pharm. Dev., Nocion is quickly moving into the clinic

November 18, 2019 / Waltham, MA – Today, Nocion Therapeutics announced NTX-1175 as a clinical candidate for development.  NTX-1175 is being developed for the treatment of refractory chronic cough, an indication with a significant unmet need.  The company also announced two key executive appointments: Christopher Searcy, Pharm.D., as Chief Business Officer and Michael Lipp, Ph.D. as Senior Vice President of Pharmaceutical Development. 

“Our goal has always been to help patients and address a significant unmet need. From a scientific and business perspective, today’s announcement brings Nocion closer to that goal,” said Dr. Richard Batycky, CEO of Nocion. “Our path to patients is clear and we’re building an exceptional team to get us there.” 

NTX-1175 is a proprietary molecule in the class of Charged Sodium Channel Blockers (CSCBs) that allows for specific silencing of nociceptors without off-target effects associated with other anesthetics.  When delivered topically to the upper airways, NTX-1175 has shown promising effects in preclinical models of chronic cough.  NTX-1175 met all the pre-defined screening criteria necessary for its nomination and, as such, is being advanced into clinical studies.

Dr. Searcy and Dr. Lipp both have backgrounds that will help Nocion transition to the next phase of the company. Most recently, Dr. Searcy was Chief Business Officer at Respira Therapeutics, an inhaled therapeutics company focused on the treatment of pulmonary arterial hypertension. He has 35+ years of industry experience working in a variety of settings from a large multi-national pharmaceutical company to early stage therapeutic start-ups.  His experience includes regulatory affairs, clinical research, marketing, licensing and development, business and corporate development, new product planning, intellectual property management and investor relations.

“I am very excited to be joining Nocion at a time when all the scientific effort to date is transitioning molecules into human therapeutic candidates,” said Dr. Searcy. 

Prior to joining Nocion, Dr. Lipp was Head of Pharmaceutical Development at Civitas Therapeutics through its acquisition by Acorda Therapeutics. He was Site Head of the Acorda Waltham R&D Facility and led the efforts related to the Chemistry, Manufacturing and Control (CMC) activities associated with InbrijaTM which was approved by the FDA in 2018 as the first-in-class treatment for OFF episodes in Parkinson’s Disease. Dr. Lipp has over two decades of experience in pharmaceutical development and drug delivery technologies ranging from the preclinical stage through commercial approval. 

“I am very honored to join the team at Nocion and to help take our novel compounds into the clinic and beyond,” said Dr. Lipp.  “Based on the promise that our technology has demonstrated to date, we have the potential to develop multiple products that can have significant impacts on patients in many therapeutic areas, which is tremendously exciting and fulfilling.”


Nocion Therapeutics is a biopharmaceutical company developing novel small molecule charged sodium channel blockers, “nocions”, that selectively affect actively firing nociceptors—to provide targeted, robust and sustained relief for the treatment of serious conditions involving cough, itch, and pain. The company’s mission is to safely alleviate suffering for millions of patients with conditions arising from activated sensory neurons. For more information, visit: