CAMBRIDGE, Mass., March 24, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — Ethismos Research, developing pharmaceutical treatments for chronic pain management, severe depression, and substance use disorders, announced that research on lead compound, amitifadine, was published online in the peer-reviewed journal, Psychopharmacology, earlier this month. In “Amitifadine, a triple reuptake inhibitor, reduces self-administration of the opioid remifentanil in rats,” researchers reported that treating rats with amitifadine, in both the acute and chronic setting, significantly reduced self-administration of the opioid drug, remifentanil, without diminishing remifentanil analgesic (pain-relieving) effects. In addition, amitifadine also demonstrated analgesic effects independent of the opioid. The authors concluded that amitifadine holds promise to counter opioid self-administration in patients taking opioids for pain.
Ethismos is planning a Phase 2 clinical trial program to evaluate amitifadine for opioid-sparing and facilitation of taper (tapering patients off of opioids, while managing pain and withdrawal symptoms) as an adjunct to opioids in patients with chronic non-cancer pain. Amitifadine is a non-opioid that modulates neurotransmission of serotonin, norepinephrine, and dopamine, brain chemicals involved in pain signaling. This triple activity may also reduce the depressive and affective (emotional) symptoms of chronic pain, that are believed to contribute to the high risk of addiction associated with long-term opioids.
“This study clearly demonstrates that amitifadine reduces self-administration of opioids in rats, consistent with observations from previous amitifadine studies with other drugs of abuse,” said Anthony McKinney, CEO and Founder of Ethismos Research, and a study author. “The study also shows that amitifadine has non-opioid analgesic properties. Previously published human data have demonstrated amitifadine antidepressant effects. Altogether, these properties make amitifadine a potentially ideal adjunct for opioid-sparing and the facilitation of opioid taper while maintaining pain relief, and managing the mood and emotional burden of long-term pain.”
Approximately 10 million Americans take chronic opioids for long-term pain (lasting over 3 months). Opioids are among the most addictive drugs known. Two million Americans have developed opioid addiction, often due to long-term opioid treatment, which leads to nearly 50,000 deaths annually. A medication to reduce the rewarding effects of opioids could be an important therapeutic advance.
Ethismos is developing pharmaceutical treatments that could reduce exposure to chronic opioids, by providing a non-opioid pain medication that also treats the mood and psychiatric withdrawal symptoms typically observed as the opioid dose is reduced.
About Ethismos Research
Ethismos Research, Inc. is a clinical-stage drug development company developing pharmaceutical treatments for pain, depression, and substance use disorders. Ethismos is continuing the development of the patented small molecule, amitifadine, a triple reuptake inhibitor, originally developed by Euthymics Bioscience, and acquired by Ethismos in 2017.
Amitifadine increases neurotransmission of three neurotransmitters, serotonin, norepinephrine, and dopamine, to simultaneously function as a pain reliever and potentially reduce psychiatric withdrawal symptoms. Amitifadine is different from opioids and addiction treatments because it is not believed to be addictive, nor is it a stimulant or an opioid. Ethismos plans to commence Phase 2 amitifadine clinical trials for opioid-sparing and facilitation of opioid taper as a non-opioid analgesic in chronic pain patients treated with long-term opioids. The company is also exploring amitifadine trials in depression maintenance post-ketamine treatment, methamphetamine dependence and nicotine cessation. Ethismos Research is located in Cambridge, MA. For more, please go to: https://www.ethismos.com/.
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SOURCE Ethismos Research