|Nerve Growth Factor|
|Business Reports - Market Report|
Targeting Nerve Growth Factor for Pain Therapy - Groundbreaking class to breathe new life into saturated market
Pain treatment is a multibillion dollar market that is saturated with a wide variety of branded and generic drugs. The NGF class has potential to be first of an entirely new type of painkiller to enter the sector in decades. Nevertheless, high expectations need to be tempered once the long term side effects, safety and pharmacoeconomics have been established.
Clinical studies have shown inhibition of nerve growth factor (NGF) has a strong analgesic effect. Three classifications block or sequester the NGF signal transduction pathway; NGF antagonists, tropomyosin-related kinase A inhibitors and NGF trap molecules. The most advanced pipeline candidate is Pfizer's tanezumab with expected launch in 2012.
The safety of the NGF targeting therapies remains uncertain. Adverse effects shown in tanezumab trials indicate peripheral neuropathy, dysesthesia and paresthesia were the most frequent, however, no patient has taken tanezumab for longer than 6 months. Further long-term trials are required to establish the risk-benefit profile in chronic usage.
The involvement of Big Pharma will aid the successful long-term commercialization of NGF therapies. Not only do these companies have the resources necessary to conduct the large long-term clinical trials required for chronic pain therapy, but their activity and experience in licensing pain products will encourage higher uptake upon launch.
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