May 17, 2024
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Amgen studying genes to target pain conditions


For the next year, Amgen and Boston Children’s Hospital will use genetic analysis to study pain sensitivity.

The biotech giant based in Thousand Oaks will work with patients who have abnormal pain conditions, and the hospital will validate genetic markers as potential targets for new therapies, the two announced in a press release on Oct. 16.

“Traditional approaches to analgesic drug discovery have been pretty disappointing during the past 20 years,” said Charles Berde, chief of the division of pain medicine at Boston Children’s Hospital. “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.”

Patients included in the study suffer from diminished pain sensitivity, intense pain the extremities, paroxysmal extreme pain disorder and hereditary sensory and autonomic neuropathy.

The agreement is part of a larger effort to identify new genetic target areas and could potentially lead to new, non-addictive treatments, said John Dunlop, vice president of neuroscience research at Amgen.