Use of Monocyte Chemoattractant Protein-1 (MCP-1) for Treatment of Neuropathic Pain
Chronic pain is a dominant health problem. It is the most common reason to seek a physician's care with nearly 40 million office visits scheduled annually. Pain costs the U.S over $100 billion each year in health care costs and lost productivity (NIH Guide, Vol. 24, 1995). Chronic pain is the most difficult pain to treat, especially chronic pain that follows nerve injury, known as neuropathic pain. These neuropathic pain syndromes include deafferentation pain, diabetic, cancer and ischemic neuropathies, phantom limb pain, trigeminal neuralgia, postherpetic neuralgias and nerve injury caused by surgery or trauma. Neuropathic pain is not only chronic and intractable, it is debilitating and causes extreme physical, psychological and social distress. Although opioids may be modestly effective in the treatment of neuropathic pain, tolerance and physical dependence are significant limitations to their use.
Dartmouth researchers have discovered that a neutralizing antibody to a chemokine, monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 reduced chronic nerve pain. Experiments were performed using a well-established animal model for chronic pain, spinal nerve transection in the rat. The model measures changes in mechanical allodynia, or an increased sensitivity following non-noxious stimulus, such as touch. The mechanism of action is most likely through the inhibition of trafficking leukocytes into the CNS following peripheral nerve injury.
This method is claimed in the published United States Patent Application No. 10/521,167. We are seeking an industrial partner who is interested in the commercialization of this technology. (Ref:J204)
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