Almost half of opioid overdoses in the United States involve prescription drugs. A thousand people a day receive emergency room care for misusing their prescribed painkillers. As a temporary measure, there are few medications quite as efficient at erasing pain than opioids, but this may change in the next five years. Kineta, Inc, a biotech company that specializes in immune modulating drugs, recently began phase one human trials for a new class of chronic pain treatment—and this one does much more than treat mere symptoms.
A New Non-Opioid Painkiller
For the moment, Kineta is calling their new drug KCP-400. It’s a chemical component of cone snail venom that blocked pain signals where they began in animal trials. The drug seems to act at the site of the injury, and its disease-fighting effects also promote healing and reduce inflammation. It will be administered as a weekly injection, and side effects remain unknown. Since it doesn’t cross the blood/brain barrier, it shouldn’t cause tolerance or addiction.
Alternatives to Opioids In Development
Kineta’s search for an opiate replacement is not isolated. Several pharmaceutical companies are working on a new molecular approach that binds opioid receptors along a different pathway than morphine. Researchers hope that by removing the risk of addiction, the new drug class could save thousands of lives and add quality of life to millions of patients.
The DEA is working on the problem from a different angle: by cutting down the production quota of drugs like morphine and oxycodone. Some pharma companies are supporting that effort by making their drugs difficult to crush to prevent patients from injecting them, but this does little to ease the legitimate suffering of chronic pain patients.
A new drug is desperately needed, but until it’s discovered, PainStop Clinics will guide you through your pain using non-opiate therapies whenever possible. Stop in for a consultation.