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Papers of the Week

Papers: 6 Feb 2021 - 12 Feb 2021

Pharmacology/Drug Development

2021 Feb 07

J Med Chem

Movement to the Clinic of Soluble Epoxide Hydrolase Inhibitor EC5026 as an Analgesic for Neuropathic Pain and for Use as a Nonaddictive Opioid Alternative.


Hammock BD, McReynolds CB, Wagner K, Buckpitt A, Cortes-Puch I, Croston G, Lee K S S, Yang J, Schmidt WK, Hwang S H
J Med Chem. 2021 Feb 07.
PMID: 33550801.


This report describes the development of an orally active analgesic that resolves inflammation and neuropathic pain without the addictive potential of opioids. EC5026 acts on the cytochrome P450 branch of the arachidonate cascade to stabilize epoxides of polyunsaturated fatty acids (EpFA), which are natural mediators that reduce pain, resolve inflammation, and maintain normal blood pressure. EC5026 is a slow-tight binding transition-state mimic that inhibits the soluble epoxide hydrolase (sEH) at picomolar concentrations. The sEH rapidly degrades EpFA; thus, inhibiting sEH increases EpFA and confers beneficial effects. This mechanism addresses disease states by shifting endoplasmic reticulum stress from promoting cellular senescence and inflammation toward cell survival and homeostasis. We describe the synthesis and optimization of EC5026 and its development through human Phase 1a trials with no drug-related adverse events. Additionally, we outline fundamental work leading to discovery of the analgesic and inflammation-resolving CYP450 branch of the arachidonate cascade.