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12:00 AM
May 25, 2009
 |  BioCentury  |  Product Development

Shackling shingle's pain

The most troublesome symptom of shingles is acute pain, which can develop into post-herpetic neuralgia. Inhibitex Inc. believes its FV-100 is more potent and faster at inhibiting viral replication than antivirals used as standard of care, which the biotech hopes will translate into a reduction in the severity and duration of acute pain for patients.

The company said FV-100 has the potential to be a first-line treatment if such a reduction can be shown in the clinic. A head-to-head Phase II trial begun this month will provide the first test.

Shingles is caused by the reactivation of varicella zoster virus (VZV; herpes zoster), the same virus that causes chickenpox. The virus lies dormant in the nerve ganglia around the spine and can reemerge in elderly or immunocompromised individuals. The virus migrates through the nerves to the surface of the skin where it causes lesions and blisters. Replication of the virus as it migrates creates nerve damage, which patients experience as acute pain.

President and CEO Russ Plumb said that while the skin lesions generally resolve on their own in 3-4 weeks, 85-90% of patients experience acute pain for the first...

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