The American Council on Science and Health (ACSH) hailed Antibe Therapeutics Inc’s (CVE:ATE) (OTCMKTS:ATBPF) lead drug, ATB-346 as a potentially “much safer and possibly more effective option” for the treatment of chronic pain and inflammation than anything currently on the market.
The ACSH, a pro-science consumer advocacy organization, noted that Antibe is focused on developing safer, non-addictive drugs for pain management. The Toronto-based biotech is at the forefront of shaking up a $11 billion industry with a revolutionary new product that provides the relief of opioids without the resulting gastrointestinal damage.
A report in the ACSH journal noted that it has been “more than 120 years since heroin and aspirin were invented” and not much has changed. The mainstays of pain relief are still non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and opioids.
“There hasn't been a material advance in the pharmacological treatment of pain since the 1890s, when heroin and aspirin were invented. That may change if an experimental drug being developed by a Toronto-based drug company keeps performing in advanced clinical trials,” wrote Josh Bloom in American Council on Science and Health’s publication on Tuesday.
“This could be huge,” he added.
For short-term mild or moderate pain and inflammation, NSAIDs, such as Advil (ibuprofen) or Aleve (naproxen) are good, but some people can't take them at all, primarily because of gastrointestinal side effects. Long-term use can cause bleeding ulcers, even in people who don't suffer from heartburn-like symptoms.
Eliminates gastrointestinal side effects
Antibe is developing a naproxen-derivative that delivers pain relief without gastrointestinal damage, said the report.
“It was designed to also release small amounts of hydrogen sulfide, the poisonous gas from rotten eggs, upon decomposition. Best yet, the hydrogen sulfide isn't just coming along for the ride; it can also act as an anti-inflammatory agent. Two drugs for the price of one. Amazing.”
Clearly, the hydrogen sulfide wasn't incorporated into ATB-346 by accident. “Endogenous gaseous mediators are involved in multiple cellular processes, including cell repair, inflammation, and smooth muscle tone,” said the report.
Antibe is evaluating ATB-346 in Phase II clinical trials and it could be a much safer and effective option for the treatment of chronic pain and inflammation than anything we have now, added the report.
Is it safe?
The Toronto-based biotech has the largest base of published animal and human data amassed for an NSAID-based drug, bigger than anything developed by Merck (NYSE:MRK), Pfizer (NYSE:PFE), Bayer AG (ETR:BAYN) or anyone else. They’ve built a game-changing drug platform, and are doing the science to prove it.
In a Phase IIb, double-blind gastrointestinal safety trial, ATB-346 was far superior to naproxen.
During a two-week treatment period, 53 out of 126 (42.1%) volunteers who got naproxen (500 mg, twice per day) developed ulcers while in the ATB-346 group (250 mg, once per day) 3 out of 118 (2.5%) people did.
On February 28, Antibe said that the last patient has been enrolled and is on treatment in the Phase 2B dose-ranging, efficacy study of Antibe’s ATB-346. The study is evaluating the effectiveness of ATB-346 in reducing osteoarthritis pain compared to a placebo in 360 patients.
The company anticipates the release of top-line results within six weeks.
In addition to ATB-346, designed to target the need for a safer, non-addictive drug for chronic pain, Antibe’s second pipeline drug ATB-352, targets the need for a non-addictive analgesic for treating post-surgical pain. ATB-340, meanwhile, is a GI-safe derivative of aspirin.
Contact the author Uttara Choudhury at [email protected]
Follow her on Twitter: @UttaraProactive