Vertex Pharma has released studies to support its new drug VX-150. They are suggesting that the drug can provide opioid like pain relief but it doesn’t have the additional risks that come along with it.
The FDA approved Vertex’s combination drug for cystic fibrosis and Symdeko. Following this is the positive phase 2 data. It’s clear that a “new pipeline” is emerging at the biotech beyond its usual focus on CF, according to analysts.
It has been reported that 11.5 million people have been misusing opiod drugs. The U.S. battles with an opioid addiction epidemic, and so it’s evident that a nonaddictive painkiller is desperately needed.
The drugs are experiencing phase 2 trails in 243 patients that are receiving bunionectomy surgery. Vertex’s drug is a sodium ion channel blocker that focuses on the NaV1.8 channel. It performed much better than the placebo when it came to ridding people of pain using the Sum of the Pain Intensity Difference measure at 24 and 48 hours. Positive outcomes were also seen for an active control of hydrocodone plus acetaminophen.
Vertex has reported in the past that they are confident with phase two data in the treatment of osteoarthritis pain. It demonstrated a huge amount of pain was relieved when comparing it to the placebo in a two week trial period. The study is the first to test the drugs outcome on severe pain, and Vertex claims that they will begin a phase 1 trail later into 2018.
The company is still anticipating the results of a third phase 2 trial of the oral formulation. They are now focusing more on how the drug effects hard-to-treat neuropathic pain in patients with small fiber neuropathy. These results are due early next year.
It is predicted that people are going to bite at the opportunity to be a future partner for this drug because of the two successful trials that have occurred. The outcomes of these trials make it clear that this drug is a good investment with very little risk. This has helped Vertex have an advantage over rivals such as Biogen. Its rivals are companies that produce pain drugs that specifically focus on voltage-gated sodium channels.
Aside from Vertex’s attention surrounding its CF therapies and the beginning of trails for new three-drug regimens, the companies pipeline is being undervalued. This includes VX-150, CRISP/Cas9 program.