DAVIS, Calif., Oct. 30, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- EicOsis LLC, a pharmaceutical company developing a new oral non-narcotic analgesic, announced today it has been awarded a $268,000 Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant from the National Cancer Institute (NCI), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The grant funding will support preclinical testing of EicOsis drug EC5026, an inhibitor of the soluble epoxide hydrolase (sEH) enzyme, for chronic neuropathic pain associated with certain chemotherapy drugs.
EC5026 is an orally active potent small molecule that has been shown to be highly efficacious for pain relief of both inflammatory and neuropathic pain in a variety of animal species. EicOsis will evaluate if EC5026 is also effective to relieve pain during cancer treatment. This work, led by Dr. Karen Wagner, will test the EicOsis compound in preclinical models of chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy. EC5026 is currently being advanced to Phase 1 human clinical trials for neuropathic pain with financial support from the Blueprint Neurotherapeutics Network (BPN) of the NIH.
Dr. Dipak Panigrahy of Harvard University notes, "EicOsis drug candidate represents a promising new oral therapy for neuropathic and inflammatory pain, which is an urgent unmet global clinical need since there are no effective treatments. Chemotherapy-induced pain can be extremely debilitating for cancer patients. This grant funding underscores the importance of advancing the research on EC5026 and will allow to determine whether it is also effective for treating pain in cancer patients."
According to the NCI, pain is a common reason for halting life-saving chemotherapy treatments, highlighting the importance of managing pain adequately. Current therapeutic options are typically ineffective at managing this pain and can have undesirable side effects and addiction potential. EC5026 is a first-in-class analgesic therapy with a novel mechanism of action that has a high potential of impacting chronic pain treatment in humans.
"Chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy often results in persistent symptoms and long-term functional disability, reducing the quality of life of cancer survivors," said Dr. Primo Lara, director of the NCI-designated UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center. "Current available treatments are not consistently efficacious in cancer patients and there is a clear need to evaluate alternative approaches. We look forward to learning how this drug may be beneficial."
The patented technology was developed by Dr. Bruce Hammock, a distinguished UC Davis professor.