Non-opiate Painkiller Proves Successful in Clinical Trial

September 20, 2010

URB937 acts on the peripheral tissue and boosts levels of a natural painkiller at the site of injury.

A potential drug, URB937, has proven effective in relieving pain without the side effects associated with current painkillers, according to the results of a study published in Nature Neuroscience.

URB937 acts on the peripheral tissue and boosts levels of a natural painkiller at the site of injury.

A preclinical study on the drug was performed by the Drug Discovery and Development unit of the Italian Institute of Technology and the University of California, Irvine. The drug is a potent, second-generation inhibitor of the enzyme fatty acis amide hydrolase (FAAH). The trial demonstrated that the drug controlled pain and inflammation locally at the site by boosting levels of anandamide in peripheral tissues.

The compound was produced with restricted access to the central nervous system.

“These findings are significant because they show for the first time how FAAH inhibitors may enable the body to harness its own analgesic and anti-inflammatory powers right where the pain relief is needed and avoid side effects often seen in other painkillers,” said Dr Daniele Piomelli, Scientific Director of D3, and lead investigator, in a press release. “This has great potential to give patients more treatment options to relieve a wide spectrum of pain, such as rheumatoid arthritis and peripheral neuropathic pain.”