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3 November 2017

UA targets pain with Regulonix

The Arizona spinout is searching for non-opioid painkillers that target sections of the nerve cell membrane thought responsible for pain disorders.

Author: Callum Cyrus, reporter

Regulonix, a US-based non-opioid painkillers developer spun out from University of Arizona (UA), has licensed a set of drug candidates from the institution.

The spinout is working on technology to target a transmission mechanism in the nerve cell membrane – the Nav1.7 sodium channel – that is thought to be responsible for chronic pain disorders.

Other sodium channels would remain relatively unaffected to avoid associated side effects.

Regulonix has received $300,000 in grant funding from the US government’s Department of Health and Human Services and the state-owned agency for biomedical research National Institutes of Health.

The spinout was co-founded by Rajesh Khanna, professor of pharmacology and associate professor of anaesthesiology and neuroscience in the university’s Department of Pharmacology.

May Khanna, assistant professor of pharmacology at the department, and Vijay Gokhale, senior research scientist of medicinal and computational chemistry in UA’s biotech research unit Bio5 Institute, co-founded Regulonix.

UA’s commercialisation arm, Tech Launch Arizona (TLA), helped spin out Regulonix through Lisa Lin, the licensing manager for UA’s College of Medicine, as well as Michael Sember, TLA mentor-in-residence, and Rakhi Gibbons, TLA’s associate director for biomedical and life sciences licensing.

Rajesh Khanna said: “Chronic pain is widely prevalent and opioid misuse and overdose constitute major public health crises.

“While opioids are unlikely to go away anytime soon, our task is to arm physicians with viable alternative options to combat this marginalised condition.”

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