SAN CARLOS, Calif., Oct. 17 /PRNewswire/ -- Nektar Therapeutics (Nasdaq: NKTR) today presented new preclinical data demonstrating that NKTR-181, a mu-opioid analgesic with a novel molecular structure, dramatically reduces abuse liability while providing analgesia comparable to oxycodone and morphine. These data were presented during the poster session entitled "Chronic and Cancer Pain" held today at the American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA 2010) Annual Meeting on October 17, 2010 in San Diego, CA.
NKTR-181 was uniquely designed to cross the blood-brain barrier at a substantially slower rate than other opioid therapies. With a reduced rate of entry into the CNS, NKTR-181 has the potential to eliminate not only the euphoria that underlies opioid abuse liability and dependence but also the serious CNS-related side effects of respiratory depression and sedation. The unique molecular design of the polymer drug conjugate also prevents conversion of NKTR-181 by the user into a rapid-acting abusable form of an opioid. NKTR-181 is currently in IND-enabling studies and Nektar plans to begin Phase 1 clinical studies in the first part of 2011.
"New therapeutics to manage chronic pain without the serious risks associated with existing opioids are desperately needed," said Lynn R. Webster, MD, Medical Director of Lifetree Clinical Research and Pain Clinic and President, Utah Academy of Pain Medicine. "A novel opioid therapy, such as NKTR-181, with low abuse potential and fewer CNS-related side effects than existing opioids provides great promise for pain practitioners looking for safer, more effective pain management."
NKTR-181 Data Highlights from ASA 2010In a preclinical in vivo model of pain, NKTR-181 showed comparable analgesic efficacy to both oxycodone and morphine. In self-administration studies in non-human