AT-121 - hope for a new painkiller with no side effects!
A study on monkeys shows, that there’s a chance for a new opioid meeting all our expectations. Mei-Chuan (Holden) K, a scientist from Wake Forest University, and medical chemist Nurulain Zaveri, a founder of Astraea Therapeutics in California, had developed a chemical compound called AT-121.
As we all know, opioids act through 4 main receptors - mu, kappa, delta, and, recently discovered, NOP (nociceptin-opioid receptor).
The inspiration for conducting a research on a new drug was Ko's discovery that by activating NOP he could strengthen the mu receptor analgesic activity. Hypothetically, a single compound may act together at both receptors.
Is seems that AT-121 could be that drug.
Interestingly, even at higher doses AT-121 did not cause side effects that make opioids dangerous.
AT-121 maintained analgesic effects even after a few days of administration, while most opioids need repeatedly higher doses to relieve pain. In addition, in the preliminary studies, drug did not show any addictive properties.
It certainly would be helpful for our four-legged patients!