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Nektar Announces Start of Enrollment in Phase 2 Study of NKTR-181, a Novel Opioid Analgesic Molecule, for Treatment of Chronic Pain
Date:7/24/2012

SAN FRANCISCO, July 24, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Nektar Therapeutics (NASDAQ: NKTR) announced today that the first patient has been enrolled in a Phase 2 clinical study of NKTR-181, a new, first-of-its-kind, opioid analgesic candidate. NKTR-181 is a novel mu-opioid agonist molecule designed to have a slow rate of entry into the brain to reduce the attractiveness of the molecule as a target of abuse and to reduce other CNS-mediated side effects, such as sedation and respiratory depression. The Phase 2 study will utilize a double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomized withdrawal study design to assess the efficacy, safety and tolerability of NKTR-181 in patients with moderate to severe chronic pain from osteoarthritis of the knee. Approximately 200 patients will be randomized to receive either NKTR-181 or placebo in the study.

"We are extremely pleased to be part of this Phase 2 clinical study of NKTR-181 in chronic pain patients," said Jeffrey Gudin, MD, Director of Pain Management and Palliative Care, Englewood Hospital & Medical Center and Clinical Instructor of Anesthesiology at Mt. Sinai School of Medicine. "NKTR-181 exhibited highly differentiated properties in its Phase 1 development, which include slow penetration across the blood-brain barrier into the CNS. This slow rate of entry may allow us to effectively address pain while reducing some of the most troubling opioid CNS effects such as euphoria, sedation, and respiratory depression. NKTR-181 represents a potential paradigm shift in the way we think about opioid analgesia."

NKTR-181 is an NCE (new chemical entity) which was created using Nektar's proprietary small molecule polymer conjugate technology and its potential differentiating properties are inherent to the design of the new molecule. As a new molecular structure, NTKR-181 does not rely on a formulation approach, which is a com
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SOURCE Nektar Therapeutics
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