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IS THERE A DRUG OF “HOPE” FOR MANY PEOPLE SUFFERING FROM BACK PAIN?…

The Daily Mail wrote in their Health section that a new treatment for lower back pain could involve a dose of a drug called ‘tanezumab’ which inhibits nerve activity and, could bring long-term relief delivered under the skin every two months.

Lead Researcher Dr John Markman, of the University of Rochester in the US said it was a breakthrough in the search of non-opioid treatments for chronic pain.

The drug was tested on more than 1,800 patients in 8 nations in North America, Europe and Asia ‘Tanezumab’ gave long term relief, with low risk of developing serious joint issues.

Pain News Network say different. An experimental non-opioid pain reliever gives long-term relief for chronic low back pain, but questions remain about joint damage and other side effects from the drug, according to a large new study.

Tanezumab is a humanized monoclonal antibody that targets nerve growth factor (NGF), a protein in the blood that heightens pain sensitivity. Tanezumab binds to NGF and inhibits pain signals from reaching the brain.

In a Phase III study of over 1,800 patients with difficult-to-treat low back pain, participants given an injection of tanezumab once every two months had significantly more pain relief than those given tramadol or a placebo. The study was funded by Pfizer and Eli Lilly, which have spent nearly a decade jointly developing tanezumab as an alternative to opioid medication.

NGF inhibitors have previously been linked to a rapidly progressive form of osteoarthritis. But researchers say other methods of treating back pain, such as opioids, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and surgery, have their own safety risks.

It’s early days yet with this new treatment for low back pain. Pain News Network point out that Tanezumab is currently under review by the Food and Drug Administration as a treatment for moderate-to-severe osteoarthritis (OA), with a decision expected late this year. In a 2019 study of osteoarthritis patients taking a 5mg dose of tanezumab, there was significant improvement in their pain and physical function. But about 6% experienced rapidly progressive osteoarthritis.

Pfizer and Eli Lilly are not currently pursuing tanezumab as a treatment for chronic low back pain (CLBP). Source: Pain News Network and Daily Mail Health

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