According to a recent estimate, the global pain management market is to reach US$60 Billion by 2015.
Convergence Pharmaceuticals Limited has started a Phase II proof of concept study with CNV2197944 in pain associated with post-herpetic neuralgia (PHN). Convergence is conducting the development of CNV2197944 on behalf of Calchan Ltd.
The trial is a randomized double-blind, placebo controlled, phase II study to evaluate the efficacy and safety of orally administered CNV2197944 in patients with PHN. The primary endpoint of the trial is the effect of repeat oral dosing of CNV2197944 on the pain experienced in PHN, as measured by the Pain Intensity Numeric Rating Scale (PI-NRS), after three weeks, compared to baseline. The study is expected to conclude in the first quarter of 2014.
Post-herpetic neuralgia (PHN) is a nerve pain due to damage caused by the varicella zoster virus (Shingles or Chicken Pox). Typically, the neuralgia is confined to a dermatomic area of the skin and follows an outbreak of the virus in the same dermatomic area. Injury to sensory nerves can cause excruciating pain, sometimes persisting for months or years.
CNV2197944 is a novel, small molecule, state-dependent calcium channel blocker, designed to selectively inhibit highly active Cav2.2 channels. Based on positive pre-clinical and clinical data already reported, it is believed that CNV2197944 will be an effective treatment for neuropathic pain with analgesic potential for a broad range of chronic pain conditions. Extensive safety and toxicology studies to support the clinical development of CNV2197944 have also been completed, which suggest an excellent margin of safety and tolerability. CNV2197944 is the only truly selective Cav2.2 blocker in clinical development and has the potential to be a first in class treatment for chronic pain.
About the pain therapeutic area
The pain therapeutic area encompasses any disease where pain is a major symptom. The unmet medical need for patients in pain is enormous, with the greatest need being for a more effective therapy that is well tolerated and safe over a long period of time. Within the pain marketplace, current pain treatments are unsatisfactory; overall efficacy is poor (typically 1-2 point reductions on a 10 point scale) and satisfactory to less than 50% of patients. Whilst treatments, such as opioids and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, are available on the market, many patients obtain little or no relief from these existing analgesics and often such drugs are associated with adverse events, side effects and addiction concerns.
 Global Industry Analysts Inc. 2010, "Pain Management: A Global Strategic Business Report".