Current drugs to treat chronic pain are largely ineffective and/or have significant side effects.
NET PLATFORM FOR PAIN
Nearly 50 million Americans experience chronic or neuropathic pain. Pain is an unpleasant sensory experience usually associated with tissue damage. Damage to non-neuronal tissues leads to inflammatory (aka nociceptive) pain, which is generally treated with anti-inflammatory medicines or narcotics. Damage to neuronal tissues lead to neuropathic pain, which is generally treated with neuromodulatory drugs. That millions of people suffer with chronic pain highlights the fact that currently available drugs are largely ineffective or, like narcotics, have substantial adverse side effects.
A relatively limited number of signaling molecules (receptors, ion channels, second messenger systems) are used in the execution of a diverse array of physiological processes, including pain. Consequently, intolerable side effects such as cardiac, respiratory, or CNS depression often limit the systemic use and dose of even the most selective therapeutic interventions. In addition, because distinct mechanisms can produce a similar pain syndrome, mechanism based therapy may be ineffective in subpopulation of patients presenting with similar symptoms.
PeriphaGen's NET technology can be targeted to the specific nerves responsible for generating a specific pain without the worry of off target adverse effects. Following a simple intradermal skin injection the NET drug candidate is taken up by resident nerve endings (1) then, via retrograde transport, moves to the dorsal root ganglion where it transduces neurons with high efficiency. Once in the dorsal root ganglia the NET drug candidate directs the production of the analgesic agent(s) (2), which are released into the spinal cord and interfere with the transmission of the pain signal to the brain (3).
There are many potential points associated with pain transmission that can be targeted, including receptors, neurotransmitters, signal propagation within the nerve, and inflammatory response. Because PeriphaGen's NET platform is capable of expressing multiple transgenes from a single vector, multiple targets can be acted upon thus increasing analgesic effectiveness.