The new drug, the METDoloron peptide pill based on peptides rather than opioids avoids the sometimes serious side-effects of opioid-based drugs by targeting different receptors in the brain, and uses an agent which is produced by the body itself to control pain. Peptides are molecules produced by the body which can act as natures own drugs.
The peptide pill utilizes Nanomerics Molecular Envelope Technology (MET), to enable the peptides within it usually broken down by the body in the gut if ingested orally to be absorbed by the body and provide effective pain relief.
The award is part of a total £6.5m package given by the Technology Strategy Board and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) to seven companies to develop new therapies and diagnostic technology which utilise nanotechnology and has been given to develop the new pain relief medication based on the technology. The Nanomerics led consortium comprises the UCL School of Pharmacy, AMTechnology Ltd. and the University of Exeter.
The global market in pain medication is currently worth $50bn annually. The development of the drug will address a vital unmet medical need for people who suffer chronic severe pain, much of which is inadequately controlled by opioid-based medication such as codeine and morphine.
Andreas Schatzlein, CEO of Nanomerics, said:
The funding awarded by the Technology Strategy Board and the EPSRC will enable us to push ahead with development of nano-enabled pharmaceuticals such as the Nanomerics Peptide Pill and clinically test drugs based on them in a few years time.
Supporting the commercialization of cutting-edge science emanating from British universities is vital to maintain our lead in using nanotechnology to develop the global pharmaceutical products of tomorrow.
Provided by Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council
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