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UCalgary start-up aims to commercialize non-opioid medication for chronic pain

A start-up from the University of Calgary aims to commercialize pain therapies that avoid the harmful side effects of opioids.

University start-up Zymedyne Therapeutics is collaborating with UCalgary researcher Ketul Patel to develop a first-of-its-kind, non-addictive medication based on a small molecule that targets a newly discovered pathway for chronic pain relief, rather than relying on opioid receptors in the brain. Patel’s compound acts on a different target — T-Type calcium channels — providing a non-opioid-dependent avenue for effectively mitigating pain.

“So far we haven’t observed any drug tolerance, which is the major drawback of opioids,” says Patel, who was recently awarded the prestigious Mitacs Award for Outstanding Innovation in the Postdoctoral category.

Zymedyne has received investment through UCeed, which provides funding, training, mentorship and other avenues of support for UCalgary start-ups.

The start-up has filed two U.S. provisional patents on its therapeutics and is expecting to launch clinical trials within the next few years. Zymedyne also plans to partner with pharma companies to help bring the drugs to market, providing a safe and effective alternative for the millions of people across the globe who suffer from chronic pain.

Source: UCalgary News

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