- Developing pain relievers that mimic body’s natural pain relief peptides
- Other programs include development of treatments for diabetes, synthetization of blue scorpion venom and study of a novel cannabinoid delivery platform
- Revenues from international licensing strategy
The discovery of endomorphins in 1997 was a remarkable reminder of the human body’s wondrous nature. Endomorphins are naturally produced morphine-like substances with an affinity for the µ-opioid receptors in the brain, which fortunately happen to be the best places to alleviate pain. With a potency that far exceeds morphine, these endogenous substances are the body’s first line of defense against pain and stress. Since their discovery, efforts to replicate them in the lab have been underway, and a number of those initiatives are now bearing fruit in R&D establishments. A signal example is the biotechnology developed by Dr. Harry Parekh, which provides a drug development platform for PreveCeutical Medical Inc. (CSE: PREV) (OTCQB: PRVCF) (FSE: 18H). Using it, the health sciences company plans to develop endomorphin analogs which, unlike opioids, aren’t addictive and don’t trigger the respiratory depression that all too often causes fatal overdosing.
The development of this new class of pain relieving drugs could usher in an era of more temperate painkillers. Opioids are effective in reducing pain, but their use is blighted by possibilities of sinister side effects. Since they delay the functioning of the body’s respiratory apparatus, the peril of fatal overdose is ever-present. In addition, their efficacy diminishes over time as the body develops resistance to their action, and, thus, larger doses are required for relief. Unfortunately, bigger doses can kill. However, peptide-based pain relievers are devoid of these defects and so offer safer regimens of pain management to patients. Moreover, by employing them as rehab tools to ease the pangs of withdrawal, a lifeline might be thrown to those addicted to opioids.
The linker technology that underlies PreveCeutical’s drug development platform was developed at the University of Queensland in Australia. At that impressive institution, Dr. Parekh headed a team that developed synthetic molecules capable of mimicking the endomorphins produced by the body for pain relief, as explained by PreveCeutical chairman and CEO Stephen Van Deventer in a recent video interview (http://ibn.fm/PLtRQ). Although they are as potent as morphine, the effect of these endomorphins is transitory, since they metabolize in seconds. However, Dr. Parekh’s linker technology stabilizes those molecules, allowing them to be used as drugs while maintaining and enhancing their efficacy.
As a result, a number of lead candidates are in the pipeline, since the technology offers an opportunity not just to develop anodynes but also to expand the range of drug delivery methods beyond injection to oral ingestion, for example. Notably, pain management regimens are safer, because the substances aren’t addictive and the body doesn’t develop a tolerance to them. To explore the potential of the technology further, a two-year program has been launched to discover more peptides, expand the library of these peptides and launch pre-clinical trials.
In addition to the development of safer pain reliever, PreveCeutical has three other major programs underway. The first involves the infusion of cannabinoids into a soluble gel. This Sol-gel technology, also a brainchild of Dr. Parekh, was developed at the University of Queensland, which has agreed to license it to PreveCeutical. However, while the Sol-gel technology belongs to the University, its application to infusion of cannabinoids is covered by IP owned by PreveCeutical. A second program is exploring ways to synthesize blue scorpion venom, already used as a biomarker or “tumor paint” in surgery. A third is a four-year program designed to explore how these gene therapies may be used to treat type 2 diabetes and obesity. An editorial and companion audio press release featuring PreveCeutical’s focus on gene therapies is now available on NetworkNewsWire (http://ibn.fm/BoON0).
PreveCeutical has appointed Dr. Maher Khaled as director of international operations. Khaled will lead PreveCeutical’s commercialization efforts for its growing portfolio of intellectual property (http://ibn.fm/ugN2S). For many years an investment manager with the Enterprise Seed Funds of Cambridge University in the United Kingdom, Khaled has been successfully commercializing therapeutic and diagnostic technologies for over a decade.
For more information, visit the company’s website at www.PreveCeutical.com
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