I am a
Home I AM A Search Login

Papers of the Week

Papers: 29 Aug 2020 - 4 Sep 2020


2020 Sep 02


Critical NIH Resources to Advance Therapies for Pain: Preclinical Screening Program and Phase II Human Clinical Trial Network.


Iyengar S, Woller SA, Hommer R, Beierlein J, Wright CB, Tamiz AP, Karp BI
Neurotherapeutics. 2020 Sep 02.
PMID: 32876848.


Opioid-related death and overdose have now reached epidemic proportions. In response to this public health crisis, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) launched the Helping to End Addiction Long-term Initiative, or NIH HEAL Initiative, an aggressive, trans-agency effort to speed scientific solutions to stem the national opioid public health crisis. Herein, we describe two NIH HEAL Initiative programs to accelerate development of non-opioid, non-addictive pain treatments: The Preclinical Screening Platform for Pain (PSPP) and Early Phase Pain Investigation Clinical Network (EPPIC-Net). These resources are provided at no cost to investigators, whether in academia or industry and whether within the USA or internationally. Both programs consider small molecules, biologics, devices, and natural products for acute and chronic pain, including repurposed and combination drugs. Importantly, confidentiality and intellectual property are protected. The PSPP provides a rigorous platform to identify and profile non-opioid, non-addictive therapeutics for pain. Accepted assets are evaluated in in vitro functional assays to rule out opioid receptor activity and to assess abuse liability. In vivo pharmacokinetic studies measure plasma and brain exposure to guide the dose range and pretreatment times for the side effect profile, efficacy, and abuse liability. Studies are conducted in accordance with published rigor criteria. EPPIC-Net provides academic and industry investigators with expert infrastructure for phase II testing of pain therapeutics across populations and the lifespan. For assets accepted after a rigorous, objective scientific review process, EPPIC-Net provides clinical trial design, management, implementation, and analysis.