The US health authorities have recently announced a national emergency related to the use and abuse of opioids estimate by the CDC to cost the US alone $78.5 billion a year and leading to the death of 90 Americans a day . The addictive nature of our current gold standard pain killers for strong pain is central to this crisis and non-addictive alternative medication is urgently needed. Nanomerics NM127 directly addresses these needs.
Nanomerics today announced an important milestone in the publication of its first paper on NM0127, its fast acting pain therapeutic currently at pre-investigative new drug stage. The publication entitled: "Nanoparticulate peptide delivery exclusively to the brain produces tolerance free analgesia" details the preclinical proof of concept and formulation attributes of NM0127 an intranasal powder comprising the endogenous delta selective opioid receptor agonist - leucine enkephalin.
NM0127 is fast acting and has a number of important differentiating features. NM0127 does not cause analgesic tolerance, is centrally acting and so unlikely to cause significant constipation, does not produce reward seeking behaviour (linked to addiction) in a Conditioned Placement Preference model and crucially is active in morphine tolerant animals. NM0127 is enabled by Nanomerics’ Molecular Envelope Technology . The technology recently was awarded the 1st Prize in Emerging Technologies Health by the Royal Society of Chemistry.
Nanomerics CSO Prof Uchegbu commented: "This publication showcases, for the first time, the ability of Nanomerics’ MET to effect nose to brain delivery and NM0127’s development is important as the absence of tolerance and reward seeking behaviour could help to alleviate the opioid crises currently being reported in large parts of the United States."
This preclinical project was developed in collaboration with scientists at University College London, University of Arizona, University of New England and University of Exeter and was funded by Nanomerics Ltd., Innovate UK (the UK’s funder of research and development businesses) and the UK’s Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council.
"Not only does NM127 overcome a challenge in delivery, but by choosing enkephalin, an endogenous with known activity in man, NM127 also minimises the risk of late stage failure due to inter-species differences in the pharmacology of pain." says Nanomerics CEO Prof Schatzlein. "NM127 has the potential to overcome many of the limitations and risks associated with current strong analgesics."
The work was financially supported through grants from the EPSRC and Innovate UK.
Nanomerics Ltd is a specialty pharmaceutical company based in London, UK. Nanomerics was spun out of University College London, a top 20 global university and was founded to commercialise the Molecular Envelope Technology (MET) developed in the UK academic sector. Nanomerics’ MET enables the transport of drugs across key biological epithelial barriers and this allows Nanomerics to create uniquely differentiated products, underpinned by high quality science. NM0127 is one of a number of products being developed by Nanomerics.
About the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC)
EPSRC is the main UK government agency for funding research and training in engineering and the physical sciences, investing more than £800 million a year in a broad range of subjects - from mathematics to materials science, and from information technology to structural engineering.
About Innovate UK
Innovate UK drives productivity and growth by supporting businesses to realise the potential of new technologies, develop ideas and make them a commercial success.