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Pain out of the brain

Achieving analgesia without cognitive and behavioral side effects has been a holy grail for companies developing pain therapeutics, but separating the desirable and undesirable effects of analgesics has been a challenge for compounds that act in the CNS. Now, a team of Italian and American researchers may have sidestepped the problem with a molecule, URB937, that works entirely in the periphery.1

URB937, a p-hydroxyphenyl-O-arylcarbamate, targets fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH), an enzyme that degrades the lipid molecule anandamide,which in turn activates cannabinoid receptors on sensory neurons in the periphery and on a range of other neurons in

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