Illustration: Kim Ryu for Endpoints News

As Ver­tex’s piv­otal pain read­out looms, non-opi­oid drug de­vel­op­ment faces a reck­on­ing

Many drug de­vel­op­ers have aban­doned the search for new pain med­i­cines. But the out­look of the field, ex­perts say, could change from a pair of late-stage clin­i­cal tri­als test­ing Ver­tex Phar­ma­ceu­ti­cals’ non-opi­oid com­pound.

There hasn’t been a new class of pain drug in decades, ac­cord­ing to a Ver­tex press re­lease. Ver­tex’s drug stands as one of the few in late-stage stud­ies, with re­sults ex­pect­ed lat­er this year or ear­ly next year. If suc­cess­ful, the da­ta read­out could rein­vig­o­rate pain drug de­vel­op­ment af­ter the likes of Bio­gen, Roche and Pfiz­er ex­it­ed the space.

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