Cell adhesion research could lead to a new pain alternative for patients with inflammatory conditions 

Today more than 30 million patients suffer from painful inflammatory conditions. Prescription opioid pain relievers are commonly prescribed for these patients, but misuse of and addiction to opioids remains a serious national crisis that affects public health. An alternative treatment to opioids for pain management is a widely known and critical unmet need in medicine.

In collaboration with Vapogenix Inc., a new class of topical non-opioid, lidocaine-free analgesics, was successfully tested in Phase I SBIR studies at the Texas Heart Institute and will soon advance to clinical testing under a Phase II Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant from the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS) at the US National Institutes of Health. 

“We know that cell adhesion receptors adhesion receptors play a critical role in an inflammatory response. This novel topical treatment is a reformulation of an already approved drug. If proven effective in this next phase of clinical testing, clinicians could have a new tool for safe and effective pain management to treat inflammatory pain in their patients suffering from rheumatoid arthritis, gout and osteoarthritis,” according to Darren Woodside, Ph.D Vice President for Research at Texas Heart Institute.

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