Ophidion is developing therapeutic interventions to treat nociceptive pain. Ophidion’s CNS Carrier Technology (OCCT) can bring a normally brain-impenetrable endogenous peptide analgesic Neurotensin (NT) into the brain to reduce pain. In vivo results have demonstrated dramatic enhancement of pain latency of OCCT-NT relative to NT without a carrier, representing an animal proof of concept (PoC) and the ability of OCCT to deliver a peptide into the brain. Ophidion is pursuing the further preclinical development of OCCT-NT.
About Nociceptive Pain
Pain affects around 1.5 billion people worldwide. In most cases, pain is temporary and easily treated with commonly available analgesics. For some people, however, pain is a debilitating condition. Nociceptive pain (including somatic, visceral, and cutaneous pain) refers to the stimulation of nerve cells as result of adjacent tissue damage and can be experienced in cases of mechanical, thermal or other type of damage to bodily tissue. It can be sharp or throbbing and it can occur anywhere on or in the body. While it most often is acute, it can be chronic if it is related to arthritis or a similar condition.
The nociceptive pain market is driven by the prevalence of the major indications of arthritic pain, post-operative pain, cancer-related pain, osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis, and HIV-related pain. For many of these patients, opioids have been the most common form of drug used to treat moderate to severe pain. However, opioid abuse in U.S. has been rising at an alarming rate. Overdose of opioids has killed over 42,000 people in 2016 alone (over a thousand more Americans than die from breast cancer annually), with over half of those deaths being caused by prescription opioids. Hence, opioid abuse has been declared a “public health emergency” in the U.S., and this is likely to limit the growth of opioids in North America. This environment presents an opportunity for the development of non-opioid anti-nociceptive therapeutics like the one being developed by Ophidion.