Tags: pain | medication | non-opioid | post-surgical | vertex pharmaceuticals

Non-Opioid Pain Drug Effective in Late-Stage Trials

man holding tablet with 'pain reliever' concept

Tuesday, 30 January 2024 07:12 AM EST

Vertex Pharmaceuticals said on Tuesday its experimental non-opioid drug for treating post-surgical pain met the main goal in late stage trials but was not any more effective than some commonly used painkillers.

When compared with a placebo, the drug was more effective in reducing the intensity of pain, measured by patients' self-reported rating of their discomfort, after 48 hours in the two late-stage studies.

The treatment, however, failed to meet a secondary goal of reducing pain when compared to acetaminophen or hydrocodone. Vertex's drug, "VX-548," works by blocking pain signals at its origin before it reaches the brain.

Shares of the drugmaker fell nearly 4% to $420 premarket.

Attempts to bring new opioid alternatives to market by drugmakers such as Eli Lilly and Regeneron Pharmaceuticals have failed in past clinical trials.

Analysts have forecast more than $5 billion in annual peak sales for Vertex's drug, which would offer a less addictive option to millions of patients with acute pain, if approved.

"I don't think anybody expects that this drug will replace or mean the end of opioid pain medicines but it absolutely offers an alternative that is sorely needed," Piper Sandler analyst Christopher Raymond said ahead of data from the studies.

A third trial tested the drug for general acute pain for up to 14 days.

The late-stage studies involved patients who underwent surgery to remove bunions on the toes or abdominoplasty, commonly known as a "tummy tuck."

Nearly 645,000 people died in the United Stated from overdoses involving opioids, both prescription and illicit, from 1999 to 2021, according U.S. government data.

Having a more effective treatment than commonly-used non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen, "without the baggage of the chance of addiction and abuse is a very big deal," Raymond says.

Vertex plans to submit marketing application to U.S. Food and Drug Administration by mid-2024.

© 2024 Thomson/Reuters. All rights reserved.

Vertex Pharmaceuticals said on Tuesday its experimental drug for treating post-surgical pain succeeded in a pair of late-stage trials, a major milestone in the company's decades-long efforts to bring a non-opioid pain medicine to market. The drug was more effective in...
pain, medication, non-opioid, post-surgical, vertex pharmaceuticals
Tuesday, 30 January 2024 07:12 AM
Newsmax Media, Inc.

Sign up for Newsmax’s Daily Newsletter

Receive breaking news and original analysis - sent right to your inbox.

(Optional for Local News)
Privacy: We never share your email address.
Join the Newsmax Community
Read and Post Comments
Please review Community Guidelines before posting a comment.
Find Your Condition
Get Newsmax Text Alerts

The information presented on this website is not intended as specific medical advice and is not a substitute for professional medical treatment or diagnosis. Read Newsmax Terms and Conditions of Service.

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

© Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved
© Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved