pain therapy market

Current State

A woman with a headache

The pain therapy market » Current state

Increasingly growing market

Neuropathic pain affects up to ten percent of the population in Europe and the USA. It has highly detrimental effects on quality of life, impairing everyday activities, social functioning as well as physical well-being. Neuropathic pain can be so severe that some patients are not even able to wear regular clothes.

Market growth is driven by a globally ageing population with an increasing prevalence of chronic diseases such as type 2 diabetes, which is one common cause of neuropathic pain. Other common causes are injuries, chemotherapy and shingles.

Insufficient treatments, life-threatening side effects

There are currently no pain-relieving drugs explicitly developed for neuropathic pain. Current treatments, such as medicines for epilepsy and depression, are inadequate and associated with severe side effects.

Conventional opioid compounds, such as morphine and oxycodone, are very useful in treating acute pain, but they are much less effective against chronic neuropathic pain, and they are not officially recommended by national advisory bodies.

Also, conventional opioids that affect the mu-receptor have significant, possibly life-threatening side effects (respiratory depression, nausea, constipation and  itching). Patients treated with conventional opioids quickly become tolerant to their analgesic (pain-reducing) effect, necessitating increased doses with an increased risk of toxicity. Furthermore, the euphoric effects of classical opioids like morphine have resulted in an epidemic of opioid overuse, particularly in the USA, leading to thousands of deaths and costing health services billions of dollars which have led to multiple lawsuits against Big Pharma companies.

PharmNovo’s drug candidate PN6047 does not affect the mu-receptor. Instead, it selectively activates the delta receptor (DOR) in the endogenous opioid system and is expected to provide safe and effective relief of neuropathic pain. The candidate has the potential to be first-in-class.

The estimated direct and indirect healthcare costs for neuropathic pain disorders in the European Member States vary between 2 and 3% of GDP . In 2016, this estimate would result in a cost of up to 440 billion Euros. Introducing an effective and safe treatment for neuropathic pain would save the member states high costs and improve the quality of life for their people.

The US Opioid Crisis

Synthetic opioids other than Methadone
Natural and semisynthetic opioids

Since 1999 the amount of prescription opioids sold to pharmacies, hospitals, and doctors’ offices in the USA quadrupled with no overall change in the amount of pain that Americans reported.

Deaths from prescription μ-opioids  e.g. oxycodone, hydrocodone, morphine have also more than quadrupled since 1999.

Jan 2018; New York sued eight Pharma companies for fuelling the opioid crisis with conventional opioid medicines.

Latest news

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June 5, 2024

PharmNovo presenting at the Global Forum

On May 29–30, BioStock hosted the Global Forum. The event is the first of its kind, aimed at bringing together growth stage Nordic life science companies looking to expand into new markets and experts armed with a profound knowledge of how business is done across the globe.

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March 21, 2024

Positive final Phase I results

The final results from the Phase I clinical for our neuropathic pain drug candidate PN6047, demonstrates safety and tolerability and a lack of the adverse effects commonly associated with conventional opioids. The findings from the Phase I trial show that PN6047 is safe and well-tolerated at the doses tested, with no serious adverse events reported.

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March 10, 2024

Meet Bengt von Mentzer, founder and Chief scientific advisor

Bengt von Mentzer founded PharmNovo 16 years ago, and today, his visionary approach and scientific process still drive the development of the groundbreaking compound PN6047. At the intersection of innovation and scientific leadership, Bengt von Mentzer is paving the way for how to reshape the landscape of chronic pain treatment.

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January 30, 2024

NIDA funds studies

The US National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIDA) has funded a project investigating the drug candidate PN6047, a novel and highly selective Delta Opioid Receptor Agonist (DORA), represents a unique approach to addressing this medical challenge.

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