Novel Analgesic Target for Chronic Pain


January 4, 2021

A New treatment approach for pain of unknown cause

Key Word : acute pain, analgesic, antidepressant, chronic idiopathic urticaria, chronic pain, emotional, fluvoxamine, opioid dependence, overdose, pain treatment, ptsd

Background / Context / Abstract:

Over 1.5 billion people in the world suffer from chronic pain. Although analgesics and antidepressants are prescribed, the effects are limited. In the United States, opioids are often used, but opioid dependence and opioid-overdose death (around 30,000 annually) have become serious social problems.
Recent studies suggest that the emotional factors mediated by limbic system in the brain are involved in the idiopathic pain. Under the hypothesis that the mechanism of these kinds of pain resembles that of PTSD, our researchers examined the effect of compound X which has a possible effect on PTSD by acting on transmembrane protein Y.

Technology Overview:

Analgesics that contains compound X, or transmembrane protein Y as analgesic target.
The Mechanism of action (MOA) is different from those of the existing painkillers and antidepressants. Especially effective for chronic pain caused by emotional factors.
Small molecule compound X once had been developed in phase II clinical study for the purpose of treating another disease, and confirmed no severe side effect, but abandoned, and patents have expired.


・Emotional pain evaluation protocol for animal that includes pain conditioning and counting pain response time was established.
・He effects of compound X and existing drugs for emotional pain were tested. Fluvoxamine (SSRI) and fentanyl (opioid) had little effect, while compound X completely suppressed pain response (Fig).
・Compound X also had some efficacy on acute pain.
・The effects were confirmed by compounds which have the same MOA.


・Potentially effective for pain unresponsive to existing painkillers.
・Repositioning strategy is available.


Chronic pain, idiopathic pain, psychogenic pain

State of Development / Opportunity / Seeking:

We are seeking companies to license this technology and commercialize analgesics;
(ⅰ) by repositioning of compound X,
(ⅱ) by identifying new chemical entities which target transmembrane protein Y.
Details can be disclosed under CDA.
・Available for exclusive and non-exclusive licensing
・Exclusive/non-exclusive evaluation for defined period (set up for options)
・Collaborative/supportive research
・Development partner

IP Status:

WO2019/004292 (PCT applied in Japanese)


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