This week in therapeutics

Indication

Target/marker/pathway

Summary

Licensing status

Publication and contact information

Neurology

Neuropathic pain

Not applicable

Studies in rats suggest the small molecule natural product huperzine A could help treat neuropathic pain associated with spinal cord injury (SCI). In a rat model of compression-induced SCI, huperzine A decreased pain hypersensitivity to mechanical stimuli in the forepaw and hindpaw at four weeks after injury compared with saline control. Histopathological and immunocytochemical studies showed that huperzine A reduced levels of multiple inflammation markers in the damaged cervical and lumbar spinal cord regions of the rats. Next steps include characterizing huperzine A in additional rodent models of SCI.
Insero Health Inc. has huperzine A in Phase Ib testing to treat drug-resistant epilepsy (see Huperzine A in SCI,
page 4).

SciBX 6(7); doi:10.1038/scibx.2013.170
Published online Feb. 21, 2013

Findings patented; exclusively licensed to Insero Health

Yu, D. et al. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA; published online Feb. 5, 2013;
doi:10.1073/pnas.1300083110
Contact: Yang D. Teng, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Mass.
e-mail:
yang_teng@hms.harvard.edu
Contact: Richard L. Sidman,
same affiliation as above
e-mail:
richard_sidman@hms.harvard.edu