First Steps Toward a New Pain Medication
Scientists have developed a strategy for fighting pain with significantly fewer side effects. Unfortunately, the new chemical can't be taken orally, so the companies that developed it, Abbott Labs and Icagen, won't commercialize it. But it proves that the new strategy for stopping pain is viable.
It's the first time a small chemical that blocks specific sodium channels, which carry pain signals from nerves, rather then all of them at once.
The team, led by Doug Krafte and Michael Jarvis, described their new strategy in the current issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. A group of researchers from Merck wrote a separate article that explains the importance of the work done by Krafte, Jarvis, and their team. The researchers at Merck claim that chemicals like the one discovered at Icagen will usher in a new era of pain research.