Relmada Therapeutics Inc., a clinical-stage company developing novel therapies for the treatment of chronic pain, announced that it has entered into an agreement with Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC) in a series of animal studies for levorphanol, the active ingredient of LevoCap ER, a new tamper-resistant, extended release form of levorphanol. Gavril Pasternak of MSKCC is the lead investigator for these studies.
Pasternak said: “Levorphanol is a unique opioid analgesic that has been used clinically for decades. The purpose of these studies is to further characterize the actions of the drug at the molecular and behavioral levels based upon the current understanding of opioid mechanisms. The basic question is whether the actions of levorphanol can be dissociated from those of morphine and the more traditional opioid analgesics and whether these actions involve a novel subset of mu opioid receptor splice variants.”
Eliseo Salinas, president and chief scientific officer of Relmada Therapeutics Inc., said: “Unlike oxycodone, morphine, hydromorphone, oxymorphone, and hydrocodone, levorphanol seems to modulate pain through mechanisms common with those traditional opioids (the ascending opioid pathways) as well as a unique combination of mechanisms involving delta, kappa and N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptors, the norepinephrine and serotonin transporters, as well as different variant of the mu opioid receptor described by Pasternak’s group. This unique combination of mechanisms may explain its efficacy and its ability to partially reverse tolerance to morphine.”
Sergio Traversa, CEO of Relmada Therapeutics, concluded: “Relmada is delighted to work with Dr. Pasternak and his team at Memorial Sloan Kettering. MSKCC has done amazing, pioneering work on pain mechanisms and their experience with levorphanol is ideal for our research. Our company is dedicated to finding new ways to treat and manage pain, and the methodologies of this kind of research have evolved since levorphanol was last examined in detail a couple of decades ago. We are confident that new treatments for pain are needed, and we believe that levorphanol’s promise is worth the greatest consideration.
“In addition, Relmada remains dedicated to further research and development into d-methadone, the NMDA receptor antagonist for neuropathic pain; BuTab ER, an oral dosage form of the opioid analgesic buprenorphine; and MepiGel, a FDA Orphan Drug designated topical formulation of the local anesthetic mepivacaine.”
Date: September 16, 2014
Source: Relmada Therapeutics
Filed Under: Drug Discovery