Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

First clinical trial of gene therapy for pain shows substantial pain relief for patients

Date:
April 12, 2011
Source:
University of Michigan Health System
Summary:
In the first clinical trial of gene therapy for treatment of intractable pain, researchers observed that the treatment appears to provide substantial pain relief.

In the first clinical trial of gene therapy for treatment of intractable pain, researchers from the University of Michigan Department of Neurology observed that the treatment appears to provide substantial pain relief.

In a study published online in the Annals of Neurology last week, the researchers showed that the novel agent NP2 is safe and well-tolerated. In addition, measures of pain in the treated patients suggested that NP2 may provide a substantial analgesic effect.

NP2 is a gene transfer vector that expresses the naturally-occurring opioid peptide enkephalin. In preclinical work in animals, David Fink, M.D., Robert Brear Professor and chair of the Department of Neurology and his coworkers, had demonstrated that injection of NP2 into the skin reduces pain in models of pain caused by nerve damage, inflammation, or cancer.

In the clinical trial, 10 patients with unrelenting pain caused by cancer were injected with the gene transfer agent in the area of skin related to the location of pain.

"The concept underlying this therapeutic approach is that injection of NP2 into the skin results in uptake into the nervous system and the production and release of a pain-relieving chemical in a controlled site in the pain pathway," says Fink.

"In the study, patients who received the low dose of vector showed little reduction in pain; patients receiving the higher doses showed a greater than 80% reduction in pain over the course of 4 weeks following treatment."

Fink's laboratory has been working on the use of modified herpes simplex virus-based vectors that are taken up by sensory nerves following skin injection to develop therapies for diseases of the nervous system for more than 20 years. Patents related to this technology have been exclusively licensed by Diamyd Medical, a publicly-traded Swedish biotechnology company that sponsored the trial, and the human-grade vector NP2 was produced by Diamyd, Inc, the US subsidiary of Diamyd Medical.

The recombinant replication defective HSV approach represents a platform technology -- a nerve targeting drug delivery system (NTDDS) -- that can be used to deliver and express any one of a number of genes in the nervous system. A related NTDDS vector, NG2 reduces pain-related behaviors in preclinical models of neuropathic pain from nerve injury and diabetes.

NTDDS gene transfer to the DRG to express neurotrophins locally prevents the progression of polyneuropathy in relevant preclinical models, suggesting that the NTDDS platform may be used to treat degenerative polyneuropathies as well.

"This is an example of translational research in which we have moved from laboratory bench studies through animal models into new treatment that we are testing patients. There was no placebo control in this phase 1 study, but the apparent dose-dependent pain relief was encouraging to us," Fink says.

A phase 2 trial to compare NP2 to a placebo control has already been initiated under sponsorship from Diamyd.

In addition to Fink, other investigators participating in this trial at the University of Michigan included Marina Mata, M.D., Srinivas Chiravuri, M.D. and Susan Urba, M.D.

At Diamyd, the study was led by Darren Wolfe, Ph.D., James Wechuck, Ph.D., and David Krisky, M.D., Ph.D.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Michigan Health System. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. David J. Fink, James Wechuck, Marina Mata, Joseph C. Glorioso, James Goss, David Krisky, Darren Wolfe. Gene therapy for pain: Results of a phase I clinical trial. Annals of Neurology, 2011; DOI: 10.1002/ana.22446

Cite This Page:

University of Michigan Health System. "First clinical trial of gene therapy for pain shows substantial pain relief for patients." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 12 April 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/04/110411152641.htm>.
University of Michigan Health System. (2011, April 12). First clinical trial of gene therapy for pain shows substantial pain relief for patients. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/04/110411152641.htm
University of Michigan Health System. "First clinical trial of gene therapy for pain shows substantial pain relief for patients." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/04/110411152641.htm (accessed October 22, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Orthodontist Mom Jennifer Salzer on the Best Time for Braces

Orthodontist Mom Jennifer Salzer on the Best Time for Braces

Working Mother (Oct. 22, 2014) Is your child ready? Video provided by Working Mother
Powered by NewsLook.com
U.S. Issues Ebola Travel Restrictions, Are Visa Bans Next?

U.S. Issues Ebola Travel Restrictions, Are Visa Bans Next?

Newsy (Oct. 22, 2014) Now that the U.S. is restricting travel from West Africa, some are dropping questions about a travel ban and instead asking about visa bans. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
US to Track Everyone Coming from Ebola Nations

US to Track Everyone Coming from Ebola Nations

AP (Oct. 22, 2014) Stepping up their vigilance against Ebola, federal authorities said Wednesday that everyone traveling into the US from Ebola-stricken nations will be monitored for symptoms for 21 days. (Oct. 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Doctors Help Paralysed Man Walk Again, Patient in Disbelief

Doctors Help Paralysed Man Walk Again, Patient in Disbelief

AFP (Oct. 22, 2014) Polish doctors describe how they helped a paralysed man walk again, with the patient in disbelief at the return of sensation to his legs. Duration: 1:04 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins