Chronic Pain

Peripheral Neuropathic pain is a chronic pain condition. The symptoms range from numbness to debilitating pain and the condition affects 7-10% of the general population1. Peripheral Neuropathic pain arises from peripheral neuropathy, typically damage to nerves that reside outside of the Central Nervous System (CNS), and it can be classified as nociceptive (from nerve injury or inflammation of nociceptive receptors), neuropathic (from a lesion or destruction within the peripheral nervous system) or a mixture of these two2. Common forms of peripheral neuropathy are classified based on their origin and include diabetic peripheral neuropathy, chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy, HIV-associated neuropathy and post-herpetic neuropathy.

Peripheral Neuropathic pain is associated with significant disability and management of the pain is often challenging. First line therapies include anticonvulsants (pregabalin and gabapentin), antidepressants and serotonin-noradrenalin-reuptake inhibitors (duloxetine and venlafaxine), and these are estimated to provide pain relief in less than 50% of patients3. Opioid-type drugs are not typically recommended, but are used as second line therapies. It follows that there is a significant unmet medical need for novel and safe approaches to pain management.

The US Peripheral Neuropathic pain market is estimated to reach $2.1B by 20224.

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

PTSD is a disorder that some people develop after experiencing a shocking, scary or dangerous event. It is estimated that approximately 8 million Americans, or 3.5% of the population, suffer from PTSD at any given time5. For veterans of the Vietnam War, the prevalence was estimated to ~30%, whereas estimates for veterans from recent wars (Gulf war, Operation Iraqi Freedom) range from 11-20%5.

The disorder is thought to result from an imbalance between excitatory and inhibitory brain neurocircuitry, and treatments typically include psychotherapy and/or medication. There is no clinical evidence, however, that these treatments help. Thus, there is a significant unmet medical need for new therapeutics and the PTSD market is projected to reach $1.7 billion by 20196.

Opioid use disorders

Opioids are prescribed to treat acute and chronic pain. With prolonged use, opioid tolerance develops and this reduces the pain mitigating effect of the drug. Furthermore, extended use leads to addiction and dependence in 8-12% of patients7, which is one of the reasons for the global epidemic of opioid abuse. It has been estimated that 26-36 million people abuse opioids worldwide, and in 2015, more than 30,000 Americans died as a result of opioid overdose, including prescription opioids, heroin and illicitly manufactured fentanyl7. These numbers underscore the significant unmet medical need for non-addictive, safe alternatives to opioids. The global opioid market size was estimated to $34.8 billion in 20158.