Name: Neuropathic Pain
Elevator Pitch: Novel Drug Candidate to Treat Chronic Neuropathic Pain
Department: Psychology, University of Colorado
Please click here for a PDF of the Neuropathic Pain Executive Summary
Neuropathic pain, a condition caused by damage and/or inflammation to nerves following traumatic injury, infection, diabetes, or chemotherapy, affects millions of people worldwide. Opioid, anti-convulsant, and anti-depressant drugs have traditionally been used to treat this disorder. Unfortunately, standard drug therapy has had limited efficacy along with side-effects of tolerance and addiction that have caused many care providers to under-prescribe and patients to under-utilize. Due to the inadequacy of treatment options, many patients worsen over time.
Research at the University of Colorado at Boulder has focused on how to treat chronic pain. While all currently available therapies target neurons, the team’s work has shown that a major player in the development and maintenance of neuropathic pain is a non-neuronal cell called glia. Glia cells outnumber neurons 10 to 1 and when activated can compromise the ability of analgesics to suppress pain by producing proinflammatory cytokines causing an enhanced and prolonged pain experience.
The anti-inflammatory cytokine interleukin-10 (IL-10) has the ability to suppress the production and function of many proinflammatory cytokines released by activated glia. Based on this understanding, the team has developed this and other novel drug candidates to treat neuropathic pain.
The team has developed a surgical method to identify and remove specific cell/tissue groupings in the spinal cord proven to cause chronic pain. With their removal, the team is able to provide 100% neuro-pain relief in 85% of patients. Working under IRB approval the team has biopsied and banked these pain-generating tissue samples enabling their future use in a targeted drug discovery program.
The team has been approached by a global biopharmaceutical company to financially partner and acquire access to the tissue library. The global firm is interested in these spinal cord tissue samples for use in their development of new pain therapy products.
The team has also developed a unique animal model that mimics and allows for the study of central neuropathic pain arising from spinal cord injury. The method and tissue samples are cornerstones that will allow for a targeted drug discovery program.
•Targeting non-neuronal glia cells responsible for pain
•Animal model developed to test efficacy of compounds & surgical techniques
•Multiple compounds with commercial potential
•Interest in tissue library from large biopharmaceutical company
Pain management, pharmaceuticals, drug development, neuroscience, immunology, pharmacology, physiology, psychology, FDA IND registration
To Indicate an Interest or for More Information: 303.444.2111 or Eric@InnovationCenteroftheRockies.com. Please include a copy of your resume.