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Pharmaleads' Lead Candidate for Pain, PL37, Enters Phase I
Date:10/2/2008

PARIS, October 2 /PRNewswire/ -- Pharmaleads has obtained from the French Medicine Agency (AFSSAPS) the authorization to perform a single ascending dose Phase I study with PL37, its lead compound for oral treatment of neuropathic pain.

Neuropathic pain is a major chronic pain condition, with an estimated prevalence in the world's population of up to 6%, according to the most recent surveys, with many causes such as shingles, herpes, diabetes, antiviral or antitumor chemotherapy surgery, or low back disorders. Neuropathic pain does not respond well to usual painkillers. Worldwide market for neuropathic pain is estimated to reach 5 billion USD by 2010.

This compound originates from the work of Pharmaleads' chief scientists, Professors Bernard P. Roques and Marie-Claude Fournie-Zaluski, and is a dual inhibitor of both enzymes responsible for the rapid degradation of enkephalins, the endogenous opiates. It therefore elicits an analgesic effect wherever enkephalins are produced as a response to a painful stimulus, and maintains a high level of these natural analgesic substances by preventing their rapid degradation.

According to Thierry Bourbie, Chairman and CEO of Pharmaleads, "PL37 is Pharmaleads' first compound to enter clinical development and the first representative of a totally new class of painkillers, hence confirming the validity of our science and chemistry, as well as our capabilities as a drug development company. Neuropathic pain remains poorly treated and there is an urgent need to develop and bring to patients and doctors a specific oral treatment that would be really active and well tolerated. This looks very promising."

Bernard P. Roques, Vice-President and CSO of Pharmaleads explains: "The inhibition of both enzymes, responsible for the inactivation, in the body, of naturally present opiates, enhances their analgesic properties. PL37 physiological action in all areas where pain is present leads to very promising prope
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SOURCE Pharmaleads
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