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Method patent issued for investigational new class of pain medication
Date:1/25/2013

The U. S. Patent and Trademark Office recently issued a patent to the U. S. Department of Health and Human Services involving resiniferatoxin, or RTX, an experimental compound that represents a potential new class of drugs to alleviate the intractable pain that can occur in people with advanced cancer, severe arthritis, and other extremely chronic conditions.

"While RTX remains an investigational drug, the patent licensed to our commercial partner provides further incentive to move the drug through clinical development," said Mark L. Rohrbaugh, Ph.D., J.D., director of NIH's Office of Technology Transfer (OTT), which manages patents and licenses to inventions made by NIH and Food and Drug Administration (FDA) scientists. "The patent increases the likelihood that RTX will not end up on a laboratory shelf as a stalled or lost opportunity, but instead will have the potential to improve the lives of people with intractable pain."

The method patent specifically covers intrathecal administration of RTX, meaning its injection into the spine's thecal sac. The thecal sac is formed from layers of connective tissue and surrounds the spinal cord. Bundles of peripheral nerve roots feed into the fluid-filled sac, where their incoming sensory signals are routed onward along the spine and to the brain.

The patent (U. S. patent number 8,338,457) will be administered through the National Institutes of Health, a component of HHS. The NIH's National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) will lead the early clinical development of intrathecally administered RTX in collaboration with Sherrington Pharmaceuticals, Inc. through a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement. Sherrington, a private biopharmaceutical company focused on the treatment of chronic and refractory pain, will attempt to commercialize RTX under an exclusive license agreement to the newly issued patent.

NINDS presently oversees an early phase clinical stud
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Contact: Bob Kuska
kuskar@nidcr.nih.gov
301-594-7560
NIH/National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research
Source:Eurekalert

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