Injectable Immune Modulator: Encouraging Results in Animal Tests

New Opioid-Sparing Approach Provides Durable Pain Relief Without Adverse Effects

A Colorado University neuroscientist reports that injections of an experimental gene therapy have shown impressive results in providing pain relief and functional improvement to more than 40 dogs affected by chronic pain. Linda Watkins, PhD, collaborated with chronic pain specialist Rob Landy at the Colorado Center for Animal Pain to test an immune modulator called XT-150, an injectable technology that is delivered to the site of an inflamed joint or to the fluid-filled space surrounding the spinal cord. The compound contains DNA that prompts the production of interleukin 10 (IL-10) a natural anti-inflammatory that dampens the activity of glial cells responsible for the generation of inflammatory compounds. Dr. Watkins remarked, “IL-10 is Mother Nature’s anti-inflammatory. But in the onslaught of multiple inflammatory compounds in chronic pain, IL-10’s dampening cannot keep pace."

Watkins is also the cofounder of Xalud Therapeutics, formed in 2009 to pursue the development of IL-10 boosting therapies. In tests to date on dogs, a single injection has resulted in significant improvement as measured by pain manifestations and level of activity in the animals. Further, because the technology is localized and engages the body’s natural pain killing response, the approach is free from side effects that accompany opioid and nonopioid medications. Xalud Therapeutics has launched clinical trials in Australia and Napa, California, in human patients with osteoarthritis to test safety and efficacy, according to Dr. Watkins.

Read more about the discovery and future developmental steps.

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