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Expert Opinion Highlights Avigen's AV411 as Potential New,Therapeutic for Neuropathic Pain and Opioid Withdrawal

es glial cell function, an important contributor to chronic pain as well as opioid dependence and withdrawal. Glia cells surround and influence neurons that signal pain.

The Expert Opinion in Investigational Drugs article, entitled "Ibudilast (AV411): A New Class Therapeutic Candidate for Neuropathic Pain and Opioid Withdrawal Syndromes," by lead author Annemarie Ledeboer, Ph.D., reports that, through its unique properties, AV411 attenuates or suppresses glial cell activation in brain and spinal cord tissues and is effective in treating pain symptoms. Additionally, the article reports that AV411 potentiates or augments morphine analgesia, while counteracting morphine tolerance, as well as diminishing morphine withdrawal behaviors.

"Based on all the pre-clinical research to date, ibudilast represents a promising new agent for relief of neuropathic pain and may offer a better treatment option for various models of pain ranging from traumatic nerve injury to diabetes to cancer chemotherapy-induced neuropathy," stated Linda Watkins, Ph.D., Professor, Department of Psychology & the Center for Neuroscience, University of Colorado at Boulder. A world-wide leader of glial-related research, Watkins is co-author of the paper, and a long-time Avigen collaborator. "The potential for this agent is far reaching. AV411 may not only treat neuropathic pain, but its novel mechanism of action may also allow it to improve opioid efficacy, giving clinicians a greater offering of pain relief for their patients," added Watkins.

"The publication of this research adds to the increasing recognition of glial attenuation as a potential new paradigm shift in how we treat neuropathic pain and opioid withdrawal," explained Johnson. "We look forward to moving AV411 along in the clinic to bring this new class of pain treatment to the patient as well as to explore its potential for the management of drug dependence."

This article is available online at




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