Sumary of Breakthrough discovery could pave the way for new non-opioid painkillers to treat neuropathic pain:
- Chronic pain remains a widespread global health burden, with lack of current therapeutic options leading to an over-reliance on opioid painkillers, which provide limited relief in patients with chronic (particularly neuropathic) pain, while exhibiting severe adverse effects, such as respiratory depression and addiction.
- ” Associate Professor Wendy Imlach, who is the head of the Pain Mechanisms lab at BDI and a co-corresponding author of the work, stated: “This study has helped us to better understand mechanisms underpinning allosteric drug actions.
- One of the exciting things we found is that not only were the PAMs able to decrease neuropathic pain with minimal unwanted effects, but they actually increase their level of effectiveness as the pain signals in the spinal cord get stronger – thus highlighting the potential for allosteric medicines that are uniquely sensitive to disease context”.
- Professor Christopoulos added: “This multidisciplinary study now provides a valuable launchpad for the next stage in our drug discovery pipeline, which will leverage structure-based insights for the design of novel non-opioid allosteric drugs to successfully treat chronic pain.