Phoenix PharmaLabs: How Would Physicians Spend One Billion Dollars to Combat Opioid Crisis?
WOODCROSS, Utah, March 5, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- A survey of physicians affected by the opioid crisis found that 100% of the respondents would prioritize funding research into development of non-addictive potent pain drugs if they were administering a $1 billion government program to combat the opioid crisis. A whopping 85 percent of those surveyed ranked this their number one priority with the additional 15% ranking it number 2. These results point to a significant demand for safer medications to treat pain among physicians across multi-disciplines and represent a huge unmet need among drug developers.
An equal majority of respondents, 83 percent, ranked funding more regulation and enforcement as their least important priority, which is likely reflective of new laws and regulations put in place to combat the opioid crisis that have affected the medical community in recent years.
The survey results of 390 physicians represent the views of doctors whose specialties include anesthesiology (20%); internal medicine (16%); emergency medicine (14%); surgery (13%); pain management (9%); sports medicine (8%); hematology/oncology (5%); addiction medicine (4%) and neurology (3%). Other specialties made up the remaining 8% of the responders.
The survey was conducted via email questionnaires by Advanced Data Management LLC, of Dana Point California, a medical survey firm on behalf of Phoenix PharmaLabs Inc. Phoenix is developing a non-addictive opioid that is in preclinical development. The survey affirmed Phoenix's belief that there is a great need for this type of drug today and that although biotech has focused most of its efforts – and money – on more "glamourous" science, there is a real need for a drug that can treat pain without the horrible side effects, including addiction, that are found in almost all potent analgesics available today.
The study asked participants to prioritize how they would spend $1 billion if they were the government working to stop the opioid crisis. Respondents were asked to rank their choices among the following:
Fund more regulation and enforcement
Fund providing NARCAN to all concerned parties including law enforcement
Fund research to identify a potent non-addictive pain killer medication
"We commissioned this survey as part of our ongoing business activities with respect to developing PPL-103," said William Crossman, CEO of Phoenix PharmaLabs. Crossman personally has been affected by the opioid crisis as his step-son has been addicted to opioids for more than 15 years after being prescribed an opioid following an injury. "I am happy to report that he is now being sustained in a suboxone program now. The devastation for all involved in this crisis is extremely real and if government is serious about combating the opioid crisis it's important to earmark funds for research and development of painkillers that will be effective in the future."
Several comments from responding physicians illustrated the strength of their opinions regarding the issue of opioid addiction and pain management. One respondent who is involved in anesthesiology and pain management said, "When I was in med school 20 years ago, we were taught the language of addiction treatment that revolved around the patient 'failing' to stay clean and sober – that's what regulation and enforcement are based on. We now know that addiction (especially opioid addiction) is a chronic long-term condition like diabetes or hypertension. We don't treat those with a 30-day rehab and then say, 'good luck with that." We treat them with (sometimes lifetime) medication and lifestyle management. We need an effective non-addictive pain killer than can be used in treatment regimens."
An emergency room physician shared this: "As an emergency physician, I am constantly faced with the need to address patient's pain. It's not just a compassionate concern – part of my job evaluation is patient feedback of how well I addressed their problems, including pain management. I need a safe non-addictive alternative to opioids to help manage pain."
Phoenix PharmaLabs Inc. is a private company working on the development of a non-addictive opioid. This drug, PPL-103, is a partial agonist that targets all three pain receptors in the brain and partially stimulates each, providing pain relief but not causing the euphoria associated with all other potent analgesics that primarily target only the mu receptor and aggressively stimulate it. This stimulation of the mu receptor is what causes euphoria that leads to addiction. Phoenix recently received a $2.7 million grant from the US Army to advance PPL-103 into human clinical trials. In NIDA-funded in vivo studies, PPL-103 also demonstrates potential as a treatment for opioid and cocaine addiction. More information on Phoenix PharmaLabs is available at the company's website: https://phoenixpharmalabs.com.
SOURCE Phoenix PharmaLabs