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PainCeptor Pharma adds patents to pain portfolio

By Wai Lang Chu , 04-Oct-2006

PainCeptor Pharma has announced it has been awarded a series of patents for its drug development programs that focus on pain management whilst avoiding the many detrimental side effects associated with current pain drugs.

The worldwide analgesic market was worth $50bn (€39.4bn) during the year 2005 and is expected to increase to $75bn by the year 2010 and $105bn by the year 2015.

Most of the currently used analgesic drugs fall into the categories of opioids and nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drugs. It is considered difficult to treat as pain is a subjective sensation and is tricky to evaluate objectively in clinical trials.

PanCeptor's patents have been awarded for its two lead drug development programs, NGF (nerve growth factor) and ASIC (acid sensing ion channel) antagonists.

ASIC and NGF have emerged as pharmacological targets for pain therapy and management. However, for the development and screening of new analgesics, it is of great importance to confirm their involvement in acid-evoked pain in humans and to know their relative contribution to the ability to sense pain.

PainCeptor has developed for NGF and ASIC mediated disease conditions including, pain, inflammatory disorders including gastrointestinal & genitourinary diseases, circulatory & respiratory conditions and a broad spectrum of neurological diseases.

"We are delighted that the ground-breaking nature of our innovations continues to be recognised," commented Dr. Francine Gervais, senior Vice-President, PharmaceuticalDevelopment.

"These new patents support our ongoing strategy to broaden the proprietary scope of our drug development platforms."

The four patents granted PainCeptor are:

1. 'Neurotrophin Antagonists for the Treatment of Epilepsy, Alzheimer's Diseaseand Pain'' - patent allowed in Europe (#0930883) and Israel (#129475)

2. 'Method of Inhibiting Neurotrophin-Receptor Binding'' - patent issued in Australia(#781888)

3. "DNA Encoding a Human Proton-Gated Ion Channel and Uses Thereof'' - patent

Over the past 25 years, efforts to find novel opioids with reduced side effect liabilities have been disappointing. However, much progress and scientific advances have been achieved in the last decade, in the understanding of pain processing at the molecular level.

Pain is now recognised as a complex process involving multiple neurotransmitter / neuromodulator targets in the PNS, spinal cord, ascending and descending spinal pathways and in the CNS, with a high level of systems redundancy.