Amgen said in a release it is teaming up with Boston Children's Hospital to collaborate on neuroscience research to help identify pain targets based on genetic analyses.
The year-long study will focus on patients with genetic anomalies that lead to unusually severe pain as well as no sense of pain, the release said. Leaders in neuroscience and genomics from both teams will work on the study that aims to find potential pain targets to treat to the conditions.
"Traditional approaches to analgesic drug discovery have been pretty disappointing during the past 20 years," Charles Berde, chief of the Division of Pain Medicine in the Department of Anesthesiology, Perioperative and Pain Medicine at Boston Children's Hospital, said in the release. "The most innovative biotech companies have realized that they need to pursue new directions for drug discovery. Patients with unusual patterns of increased or decreased pain responsiveness can offer important clues in this pursuit."
Boston Children's Hospital's Division of Pain Medicine has the most active pediatric pain-management program in the world, according to the release. It treats patients that have rare conditions that make them overly sensitive to pain, as well as those who experience spontaneous pain for no apparent reason. It also treats those who do not seem sensitive to pain at all.
"Amgen is pleased to enter into this collaboration as it underscores our extensive investment and expertise in pursuing targets that have clear genetic support," John Dunlop, vice president of neuroscience research at Amgen, said in the release. "We look forward to working with Boston Children's Hospital to explore novel pain targets that will potentially include new non-addictive approaches to treating pain in patients."