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Solace Pharmaceuticals Initiates Phase IIa Trial of Glial Cell Modulator SLC022 in Post-Herpetic Neuralgia

CAMBRIDGE, Mass., Jan. 12 /PRNewswire/ -- Solace Pharmaceuticals, a private biotechnology company discovering and developing innovative treatments for pain, announced the initiation of a proof-of-concept clinical trial of SLC022 in patients with post-herpetic neuralgia (PHN). PHN, a painful complication of shingles, affects approximately 200,000 people a year in the US alone. The clinical trial is an international, multi-center, placebo-controlled study that will examine the effectiveness of SLC022 in controlling pain associated with PHN. Solace anticipates having results from the study in the second half of 2009.

SLC022 is an orally administered glial cell modulator that has shown efficacy in well-established preclinical pain models. Glial cells represent an important new target for the treatment of chronic pain based on their active role in neuronal pain signaling.

"The initiation of this study is another important milestone for Solace in our drive to discover and develop innovative treatments for pain," said Dr. Eliot Forster, Solace's Chief Executive Officer. "Our confidence in SLC022 is underpinned by a large body of prior preclinical and clinical data generated during the compound's previous development in a non-pain indication. We believe these data lower the development risk and enhance the opportunity for a favorable clinical profile."

Solace's advancement of SLC022 caps a year of significant progress. In 2008, Solace expanded its glial cell modulator program by identifying next-generation, novel leads with attractive drug properties. The company made equally rapid progress in optimizing inhibitors of the enzyme GTP cyclohydrolase 1 (GCH1), a key target within the BH4 synthesis pathway, and in identifying additional promising drug targets.

Solace Pharmaceuticals also established a two-year collaboration with Professor Keith Channon, MD FRCP, of the Department of Cardiovascular Medicine at the University of Oxford, UK. Professor Channon is a world-leading expert in the biochemistry of the BH4 pathway and the vascular endothelial system. Dr. Channon's work complements Solace's work in the development of small-molecule inhibitors of the BH4 pathway for treating chronic pain.

"We believe that the collaboration between Professor Channon and Solace will significantly augment the understanding of GCH1 and help advance development of promising therapeutic compounds," said Dr. Al Naylor, Solace's Head of Research.

About Solace Pharmaceuticals

Solace Pharmaceuticals discovers and develops innovative treatments for pain. Solace's research and development programs are focused on exploiting novel biological understanding of disease targets that play a role in the pathogenesis of pain and that have disease-modifying potential in two key areas: modulating the activity of glial cells and intervening in the tetrohydrobiopterin (BH4) pathway. SLC022, the company's lead drug candidate, is in phase II clinical development in patients with post-herpetic neuralgia (PHN). Solace's research and development are supported by a strong and expanding intellectual property portfolio. For more information, please visit the company's website at


     Marie Lossky, PhD
     Director, Business Development and
     Intellectual Property
     Solace Pharmaceuticals
     Phone: 617 401 4006

SOURCE Solace Pharmaceuticals
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