A New Type of Non-Opioid Chronic Pain Therapy is On Its Way
The largest source of new opioid addiction is, sadly, individuals prescribed opioids for pain management. They need to manage their chronic, sometimes-incurable pain, but the solution generates millions of addiction sufferers. We struggle both with opioid addictions, and our own pharmaceutical companies & medical communities which helped to create them. It’s a terrible Catch-22 that hasn’t slowed down yet.
However, we have some heartening news. A company seeking non-narcotic solutions to pain has made headway with their solution.
With their latest product, Centrexion Therapeutics addresses the critical need for a non-addicting treatment for chronic pain. The company website narrative states,
“Centrexion Therapeutics is transforming the treatment of chronic pain by advancing one of the largest, exclusively pain-focused clinical pipelines of novel, non-opioid therapies. We aim to bridge the safety and efficacy gaps in current approaches to chronic pain management.”
“We believe that our non-opioid approaches to chronic pain treatment have the potential to provide effective therapeutic options while avoiding the abuse and addiction epidemic that has resulted from high use of opioid drugs.”
Sounds good, right? But is it all smoke and mirrors…or something to hope for? We did a little research to see how viable Centrexion’s solutions might be.
Centrexion’s History: Pain Therapy Veterans
The company itself appears respected and respectable – it’s a small Boston-based company started by Pfizer’s CEO in 2013. It has fewer than 50 employees, but by January of this year, it had raised $67 million to bring its non-narcotic, non-steroidal chronic pain medication into phase 3 clinical trials for humans. The medication is also ready for clinical trial to treat osteoarthritis pain in dogs.
The therapy involves injecting a synthetic, strong form of capsaicin, which naturally occurs in chili peppers – it’s the ingredient that makes them hot – into the site of the pain (in the case of the clinical trials, the knee), disrupting pain signals to the brain. Pain relief is quick, and significant, and one injection is supposed to last for six months.
Results from Phase 2b trials have been encouraging, showing statistically significant, rapid onset pain relief in subjects for 24 weeks from one injection.
As of this publish date, Centrexion Therapeutics has three clinical trials running. These all target the same area of the body: knee pain, brought on by osteoarthritis.
In June 2018, Centrexion appointed Joseph R. Swedish, former recent chairman and CEO of Anthem to its board. Swedish is considered an innovator in healthcare who led Anthem starting in 2013 after the previous CEO resigned because investors were unhappy with the direction the company was taking.
Centrexion May Be the Next Non-Opioid Pain Therapy We Need
We think it’s worth keeping an eye on Centrexion as a company. Their product may offer pain relief for humans (and our canine pals) that doesn’t compromise our health in other ways, like opioid addiction.
To follow Centrexion Therapeutics’ progress, visit their website: Centrexion.com
UPDATED JUNE 8, 2020