Neuropathic pain is a serious and chronic condition that affects millions of people around the world. This pain follows damage or disease of the peripheral or nervous system, resulting in a variety of abnormal sensations such as the feeling of electric shock, burning or coldness, numbness and itching, or “pins and needles.”
Recent market research estimates that more than 1.5 billion people worldwide are afflicted with neuropathic pain, costing the U.S. public health system alone between $560 billion – $635 billion annually, according to the American Academy of Pain Medicine.
Small-cap company VistaGen Therapeutics’ lead small molecule drug candidate, AV-101, is being developed in the United States for the treatment of neuropathic pain. AV-101 is also being developed for additional indications, such as depression and other neurological indications.
To-date, the company has been awarded more than $8.8 million from the National Institute of Health for the development of this treatment.
In preclinical studies, AV-101 demonstrated positive levels of oral bioavailability, rapid and efficient transport across the blood-brain barrier, and preferential conversion into 7-CKYNA at the site of the patient’s seizures and potential neural damage in the brain and spinal cord.
So far the drug candidate has completed phase 1 development in the United States under and active Investigational New Drug (IND) application with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
VistaGen Therapeutics believes that safety results from the completed phase 1 program has the potential to position the candidate for phase 2 development for both neuropathic pain and depression.
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