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Jul 30, 2007
 |  BioCentury  |  Emerging Company Profile

Accugesics: Beating tolerance

Opiates remain the primary treatment for moderate to severe pain, although the tendency to develop tolerance to the drugs and then dependence is a shortcoming for chronic use. Accugesics Inc. is developing chimeric peptides that show evidence of having the efficacy of opiates without causing tolerance.

The company has two linear, seven amino acid peptide constructs, ESP6 and ESP7, that are chimeras of two endogenous peptides: opioid endomorphin-2 (EM-2) and tachykinin substance P. In rat studies published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciencesand the Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics in 2000, both constructs demonstrated an analgesic effect via the opioid receptor pathway while exhibiting anti-tolerance-forming characteristics. The compounds also reversed tolerance to and dependence on morphine.

It was no surprise that the EM-2 portion of the peptides, which agonizes the mu opioid receptor, provides direct analgesia. Substance...

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