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Nektar Therapeutics Announces Positive Data From Human Abuse Liability Study For NKTR-181


Wednesday, 19 Jun 2013 08:30am EDT 

Nektar Therapeutics announced positive top-line results from a human abuse liability (HAL) study for NKTR-181, a opioid analgesic molecule with a slow rate of entry into the brain. This slow rate of entry is designed to reduce the euphoria that can lead to the abuse of and addiction to current opioid analgesics. In the study data being presented, NKTR-181 was rated similar to placebo in "drug liking" and "feeling high" scores and had highly statistically significant lower "drug liking" scores and reduced "feeling high" scores as compared to oxycodone at all doses tested (p <0.0001). Prescription opioids are critical in the management of moderate-to-severe chronic pain. However, the abuse and misuse of these opioids have led to a serious public health crisis. HAL studies are clinical studies that assess the relative abuse potential of a medicine. These studies are conducted in a non-dependent, recreational drug abuser population and are designed to predict how probable it is that a particular medicine will be attractive to abusers (i.e., liked). The primary endpoint for the NKTR-181 HAL study was drug-liking measured on a bi-polar visual analogue scale (VAS). This endpoint is known to correlate most directly with a drug's potential for abuse. 

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