Navigation Links
New long-acting local anesthetic derived from algae effectively blocks pain in surgical patients

Boston, MA -- A U.S.-Chile collaboration is bringing surgical patients closer to having a long-acting local anesthetic. In a randomized, double-blind trial, patients given neosaxitoxin, a new local anesthetic derived from algae, had significantly less postoperative pain and recovered about two days sooner than those given the commonly used local anesthetic bupivacaine. Based on this finding, Children's Hospital Boston, a co-investigator on the study, has signed a collaboration agreement with biotech start-up company Proteus SA (Santiago, Chile) to move the new anesthetic toward clinical adoption.

Tens of millions of patients have operations requiring local anesthesia each year. Current local anesthetics act for less than 8 hours; when they wear off, patients generally need opioid analgesics, which cause substantial side effects, including nausea, sedation, shallow breathing, sleepiness, constipation and itching. These side effects often delay recovery and can result in prolonged hospitalization.

Neosaxitoxin (neoSTX) provides local anesthesia for more than 24 hours. It is a site 1 sodium-channel blocker, part of a larger class of emerging anesthetics based on molecules derived from aquatic organisms.

"In my opinion, there has not been a truly innovative new local anesthetic medication in the last 40 to 50 years," notes study coauthor Charles Berde, MD, PhD, chief of the Division of Pain Medicine at Children's Hospital Boston. "Most drugs introduced over that time period have represented only minimal advances. There have been candidate drugs that went in novel directions, but they've had shortcomings, and none have made it to market."

The neoSTX trial, the first of its kind, involved 137 Chilean patients having laparoscopic removal of their gall bladders. As reported in the March-April issue of Regional Anesthesia and Pain Medicine, significantly fewer patients randomized to neoSTX reported severe postoperative pain at the incision site at both 12 hours (4 vs. 18 percent) and 24 hours (6 vs. 16 percent). Significantly more neoSTX-treated patients had complete absence of pain at 12 hours, both at rest (88 vs. 69 percent) and with movement (80 vs. 60 percent). Patients in the neoSTX group reported a full functional recovery approximately 2 days earlier. No serious adverse reactions occurred in either group.

The trial was a three-part effort led by first author Alberto Rodrguez-Navarro, MD, at Padre Hurtado Hospital (Santiago, Chile); a clinical-academic team led by Berde; and a pharmaceutical development team led by Luis Novoa, CEO of Proteus SA. "As a surgeon who specializes in abdominal surgery, I think that the future of pain treatment will benefit greatly from this type of multidisciplinary collaboration," says Rodrguez-Navarro.

The Chilean and American investigators met through their scientific publications. Berde and Daniel Kohane, MD, PhD, a clinician-researcher in Critical Care Medicine at Children's, had studied site 1 sodium-channel blockers derived from marine toxins for more than a decade. Their work in rats showed that the compounds lack the side effects of existing anesthetics and opioid analgesics. They are not addictive, have no cardiac toxicity and don't cross the blood-brain barrier, thus avoiding the risk of seizures occasionally seen with existing local anesthetics. They also cause minimal local tissue reaction, avoiding the nerve and muscle damage seen with high concentrations of existing local anesthetics.

Meanwhile, in Chile, Rodrguez-Navarro had published work examining the anesthetic potential of neoSTX, derived from local algae.

The scientists at Proteus have developed expertise in extracting, culturing and purifying large amounts of neoSTX from freshwater microalgae, and formulating the compound for medical use. The planned clinical studies at Children's, hoped to begin this year, will look for optimal doses that block pain while avoiding toxicity.

Groups of young adult volunteers will receive neoSTX injections under the skin in gradually increasing doses. Although NeoSTX has appeared very safe in over 400 patients in clinical trials so far, the upcoming study will more precisely determine the margin of safety. Subjects will be closely monitored for numbness at the injection sites, as well as whole-body effects.

The team believes that even more prolonged local anesthesia is possible. They have data from animals and exploratory studies in humans showing that combining Site-1 sodium channel blockers with existing local anesthetics can produce nerve blockade for up to 2 to 4 days with minimal local or systemic side effects.

"We think that the demand for a long-acting local anesthetic will vast," says Novoa of Proteus. "Our initial estimates suggest a market greater than 1 billion dollars."

Children's holds a U.S. patent on site 1 sodium-channel toxins as prolonged-duration local anesthetics. The clinical trial was supported by an Innova Corfo Project.


Contact: Erin McColgan
Children's Hospital Boston

Related medicine news :

1. Long-acting beta-agonists most effective step-up therapy for children with poorly controlled asthma
2. Detroits urban farms could provide a majority of produce for local residents
3. Locally Grown May Mean Healthier, But Not Always
4. NYU Langone offers vascular-targeted photodynamic therapy for localized prostate cancer
5. Prediction tool helps estimate local recurrence in patients with noninvasive breast cancer
6. Civil society and local partners for XIX International AIDS Conference (AIDS 2012) announced
7. Test your Localization Abilities on
8. Local Murders Linked to Poor School Performance
9. “Brazilian Blowout” Blows into Local Salon
10. i98 Fm And ahm Announce Local Hero Finalists
11. Local Walgreen's Drug Stores Now Stock ZymaDerm™ The Painless Treatment for Molluscum Contagiosum
Post Your Comments:
(Date:11/26/2015)... ... November 26, 2015 , ... Somu Sivaramakrishnan announced ... franchise owner, Somu now offers travelers, value and care based Travel Services, including ... sales, as well as, cabin upgrades and special amenities such as, shore excursions, ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... ... 26, 2015 , ... Pixel Film Studios brings Final Cut ... Vintage. This newly styled ProTrailer pack comes with 30 all-new vintage-inspired designs, with ... users limitless opportunities to stylize and create designs quickly and easily, all within ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... November 25, 2015 , ... ... preparing the perfect dish and pleasing the palates of attendees is of the ... a dish to a seasonal get-together, give these recipes a try this holiday ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... 2015 , ... Ministers, senior government and UN agencies, representatives ... of Excellence, and public R&D institutions, civil societies and other partners gathered today ... African Network for Drugs and Diagnostics Innovation, ANDI, Stakeholders Meeting. The three- day ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... November 25, 2015 , ... Dental professionals who would like to become more ... to attend Dr. Mark Iacobelli’s Advanced Implant Mentoring (AIM) CE course. Courses will be ... As the co-founders of Advanced Implant Mentoring (AIM), Dr. Iacobelli and Dr. D’Orazio are ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/25/2015)... 2015 ... "Global Brain Monitoring Devices Market 2015-2019" ... ) has announced the addition ... Market 2015-2019" report to their offering. ... ) has announced the addition of ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... N.Y. , Nov. 25, 2015  Linden Care, ... and optimizing treatment outcomes for patients suffering from chronic ... request for a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) enjoining Express ... the two companies. --> ... pursuing all of its legal options. ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... 2015  Henry Schein, Inc., the world,s largest provider ... medical and animal health practitioners, will unveil at the ... Schein ConnectDental® Pavilion , which brings together for the ... designed to help any practice or laboratory enter the ... a schedule of experts appearing at the Pavilion. ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: