We have a diversified drug development pipeline across two therapeutic categories - oncology and CNS.
PainBrake® is a new patented formulation of carbamazepine (Tegretol®) that enables accurate dose fractionation for the treatment of certain forms of neuropathic pain, a condition that results from a dysfunction of nerves involved in the perception of pain and that is typically chronic and particularly prevalent in elderly patients. An NIH-supported study published in 2009 estimated that almost 16 million Americans suffer from chronic neuropathic pain (Yawn et al., 2009) and this number is expected to increase due to the aging population. Current drugs provide a useful degree of pain relief in only about half the patients, very few patients achieve complete relief of pain (Nightingale, 2012). Peak dose-limiting side effects, mainly sedation, somnolence, dizziness and balance problems which are poorly tolerated by the elderly (Oomens et al., 2015) cause patients to be under-dosed, thereby contributing to inadequate pain relief. This is particularly true for carbamazepine, a drug that is considered to be the first line therapy for the treatment of certain forms of neuropathic pain (Zakrzewska, 2015).
To overcome dose-limiting side effects, PainBrake tablets employ an innovative bilayered, deeply scored design patented by AccuBreak. The top layer contains carbamazepine and is pre-divided by deep scoring during the manufacturing process to provide exact doses enabling easy tablet splitting into exact doses. The bottom layer provides mechanical stability and serves as the break region when splitting the tablet. We have in-licensed against milestones and royalties the worldwide rights to the use of the AccuBreak technology for the delivery of drugs that like carbamazepine are voltage-gated sodium channel blockers. The core patent for the AccuBreak technology expires in 2025.
We expect to complete a bioequivalence study for PainBrake, in Q1 2019 and to file its NDA for an Orphan Drug indication in Q2 2019. PainBrake is a new patented formulation of carbamazepine (Tegretol®) that we believe may reduce the peak dose-limiting side effects of carbamazepine which can contribute to inadequate pain relief and non-compliance.