Clinical Trial of XEN402 for Post Herpetic Neuralgia (Shingles Pain)
In most cases, pain from shingles goes away after the rash heals. Sometimes this pain persists and can be extreme. This chronic shingles pain is also known as Post Herpetic Neuralgia.
An investigational treatment, XEN402, is under clinical trial development for the treatment for Post Herpetic Neuralgia. The new treatment is a topical medication. The announcement for the commencement of the clinical trial was made on August 17, 2010. One of the sites where this study is taking place is in St. Louis and one in New York (see if you qualify for the study)
The medication XEN402 has been developed by Xenon Pharmaceuticals as a topical ointment (meaning it can be applied on the skin). The company recently concluded a 3-week phase 1 study (to determine the safety and tolerability of the drug) in normal human volunteers. The clinical research study showed that XEN402 was well tolerated by the volunteers.
The Topical XEN402 is being developed by Xenon to treat painful neuropathic disorders such as Post Herpetic Neuralgia. The drug works by targeting the sodium channel sub-type Nav1.7 (sodium channels regular electrical conductivity in the neurons). This type of channel is highly expressed in sensory nerve endings and its expression has been shown to be up-regulated in chronic painful conditions such as Post Herpetic Neuralgia. It is hoped that by treating pain locally at its source by blocking the action of Nav1.7 sodium channels, topical XEN402 could potentially be a very effective and safe treatment option. The pre-clinical data show excellent efficacy with topical XEN402 in multiple inflammatory and neuropathic pain models when compared to other topical agents and additive effects to existing oral pain treatments.
XEN402 development by Xenon is a great example of a drug being developed to target specific receptors and then taking them to human proof-of-concept trials and eventually to clinically prescribe treatments. This is an exciting development as the product could eventually treat multiple chronic painful conditions.
If you are interested in participating in this clinical trial, then have a look here.