Nav(1.7)igating pain

Convergence data show safety, efficacy of Nav1.7 blocker in neuralgia pain

Data reported by Convergence Pharmaceuticals Ltd. last week for CNV1014802 to treat trigeminal neuralgia gave the first Phase II evidence that systemic Nav1.7 blockers can treat pain safely and effectively. The data also lend further support to the theory that part-time blockage of the channel is enough to be effective.

The Nav1.7 (SCN9A) channel is found on pain-responsive neurons. It was identified as a target for pain disorders in 2006 with the discovery of loss-of-function mutations in members of several families with congenital insensitivity to pain.

Since then several companies have explored the channel as a target for hard-to-treat chronic pain disorders, including rare conditions associated with Nav1.7 gain-of-function mutations, such as erythromelalgia.

The first efficacy data for the class came in 2011 from Xenon Pharmaceuticals Inc.'s TV-45070, a small molecule Nav1.7 blocker.

In a Phase IIa trial in patients with post-herpetic neuralgia (PHN), topical TV-45070 significantly reduced pain scores vs. placebo. Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. has exclusive worldwide rights to oral and topical formulations of TV-45070.

According to spokesperson Denise Bradley,

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