Researchers from Monash University have developed a new drug delivery strategy able to block pain within the nerve cells, in what could be a major development of an immediate and long lasting treatment for pain.
More than 100 million Americans suffer from chronic pain and this figure is expected to grow, driven by the increased life expectancy, increasing incidence of diabetes and cancer, combined with better survival rates, often leaving patients with severe and poorly treated pain. The global market for nerve pain treatments is over US$600 billion and yet current pain therapies are not completely effective and often suffer from unwanted side effects.
Research published in the journal, Science Translational Medicine, reveals how a target protein, long known to be associated with both chronic and acute pain, works within the nerve cell. This protein is the NK1 receptor, the receptor of the neuropeptide substance P, which mediates pain transmission. Because of its association with pain and other diseases of the nervous system, many drug development attempts have focused on inhibiting this receptor, but the efficacy of these treatments has been very limited. This new work shows that such ineffectiveness could be in part because the treatments targeted the protein on the surface of the nerve cell.
Dr Michelle Halls and Dr Meritxell Canals from the Monash Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences (MIPS) and the ARC Centre for Excellence in Bio-Nano Science (CBNS) at Monash University, have worked with Professor Nigel Bunnett, previously at Monash and now at Columbia University in the US, and Professor Chris Porter from MIPS and CBNS.
Together they have found that the NK-1 receptor controls pain once it is inside the cell — so drugs that merely block it when it is on the surface of the cell have little efficacy. Instead, this new research shows that, in animal models, if the NK-1 receptor is blocked once it enters the nerve cell, it is possible to suppress pain more effectively.
Dr Halls said that the new strategy of “targeting receptors inside the cell represents a new frontier in drug delivery and a novel therapeutic strategy for dealing with pain.”
Working with a multidisciplinary team of cell biologists, pharmacologists, physiologists and drug delivery experts, the researchers developed drugs that specifically target NK-1 receptors within the nerve cell. Animal studies showed that using the drugs — which have an engineered lipid attachment that targets the drug to the NK-1 receptor inside the cell, could block pain for extended periods in several animal models.
Dr Canals said: “This is a proof-of-concept study that shows that we can re-engineer current pain drugs and make them more effective. The challenge is now to translate the technology into human clinical trials. This is a complex and challenging path — but the ultimate benefits to patients with nerve pain are potentially highly significant.”
The Latest on: Pain relief
- Neuromodulation Pioneer WISE Closes EUR 15M Series C Financing Round to Launch Second Product, SCS EXPERT, for Chronic Painon October 1, 2020 at 12:05 am
SCS EXPERT is the first expandable percutaneous lead for neuromodulation treatment for chronic pain New investors, led by CDP Venture Capital, and including Indaco Ventures I and EUREKA! Venture, join ...
- The Pandemic and Chronic Pain Drug-Free Treatments Offer Relief (FCL Sept. 28)on September 29, 2020 at 4:25 pm
A new, online survey of over 500 people with chronic pain found nearly half reported that their pain had worsened during the pandemic. Regarding managing chronic pain: · 55% of respondents have used ...
- Tivic Health Announces Issuance of Four Patents for ClearUP Sinus Pain Reliefon September 29, 2020 at 7:08 am
Tivic Health® Systems Inc., a leading bioelectronics medical device company, today announced that the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has issued four patents ...
- Can COVID-19 Actually Lead to a Breakthrough in Pain Relief?on September 29, 2020 at 5:40 am
It turns out that proteins on the surface of the virus bind to another protein that pain researchers have been studying.
- Pain Relief Therapeutics Market 2020 Global Industry Analysis, Size, Share, Growth, Trends, and Forecast to 2025on September 29, 2020 at 3:59 am
Brandessece Market Research recently added the Pain Relief Therapeutics Market research report which offers a thorough ...
via Google News and Bing News