Nerve growth factor signals through receptors of the tropomyosin-related kinase (Trk) family, and research in animals has shown that inhibitors of Trks A, B, and C can reduce pain. Now a new study in the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology provides the first demonstration of pain relief in humans using a Trk inhibitor.
The inhibitor was compared with pregabalin, ibuprofen, and placebo, in randomized, double blind, cross-over study with 20 participants.
"One striking aspect of this study is the use of a pain challenge model to assess this novel Trk mechanism. By determining the effect of a single dose of the drug in healthy subjects, we were able to provide an early demonstration of analgesia without the need to run a large patient study," said lead author Dr. Peter Loudon, of Pfizer WRD, in the UK. "Furthermore, the use of a range of different pain challenge models has provided some information on the quality of effect, which may help predict the best patient population for future studies."