Neuropathic pain drug development

Client: Spinifex Pharmaceuticals

Consultants:

Professor Andrew Rice, Department of Surgery and Cancer.
Professor Praveen Anand, the Centre for Clinical Translation, Division of Brain Sciences

Expertise: Pharmaceuticals, Neuropathic pain expertise

 

The Challenge

Spinifex needed support on the clinical development of EMA401 as a novel target for pain. More specifically, the challenge was to establish proof of efficacy data for EMA401 in animal models of antiretroviral-induced peripheral nervous system damage.

 

The Solution

Professor Rice and Professor Anand used their clinical expertise to guide the overall development of EMA401. They carried out tests on the effects of EMA401 on postherpetic neuralgia (PHN), a persistent nerve pain that can sometimes develop in patients following the shingles condition and provided proof of it’s efficacy. In addition, their involvement also led them to contribute to the design of a recently successful phase II clinical trial, with Professor Rice leading the protocol development.

The Impact

The EMA401 trial showed that the drug successfully reduces pain with minimal side effects in comparison to individuals who had taken a placebo over the same length of treatment. There is currently no existing painkiller that is effective in all PHN sufferers, hence this result is generating much interest.

Dr Tom McCarthy, CEO of Spinifex explains:

We have enjoyed highly productive collaborations with Profs. Rice and Anand. Their expertise in the neuropathic pain area and their leadership in the translation of fundamental pre-clinical research into innovative pain management has significantly accelerated our drug discovery and development programs.

Dr Tom McCarthy
CEO, Spinifex

 

Professor Rice adds:

Positive phase II studies are few and far between in neuropathic pain drug development, especially for completely novel targets, and these results are therefore the subject of some excitement. The contributions of Imperial academics to this success is a good example of the breadth of drug development capabilities and expertise available at the College.

Professor Andrew Rice
Department of Surgery and Cancer, Imperial College London

 

Professor Anand is continuing his foundational mechanism of action and translational research on EMA401. In addition, he is the Principal Investigator on an ongoing clinical trial of EMA401 in patients suffering from chemotherapy-induced neuropathic pain.

Following on this success, 2015 saw the acquisition of both Spinifex and the AT2 programme by Novartis, which is a testament to the progress made within the development of new drugs for the treatment of chronic pain and to the success of the AT2 programme.

Share post:

 

Related case studies

 

Imperial College London Diabetes Centre

Imperial College London Diabetes Centre

The Imperial College London Diabetes Centre was established in Abu Dhabi, in 2006, by Mubadala and experts from Imperial to address the demand for diabetes care in the UAE. With continued support from Imperial, the centre now operates three branches across Abu Dhabi and Al Ain and public health initiatives. read more

Design advice on eco-ventilation system for homes

Design advice on eco-ventilation system for homes

Our consultants shared their expertise in sustainable energy system design to help Clean Tech start up ‘Ventive Ltd’ to move into new markets with their PVHR (passive ventilation with heat recovery) system. read more

Structures under extreme loading

Structures under extreme loading

The consultants shared their expertise in seismic assessment and design to support the development of EN1998, also known as Eurocode 8. read more