We use our resources and expertise to get funding that enables collaborative and cutting-edge pain research and then translate this to improved, real-world outcomes.
We are always looking for innovative ways to tackle today’s challenges in health and wellbeing. A big part of our corporate responsibility programme is providing grants to facilitate cutting-edge scientific research; we are currently involved in three regional projects co-funded by the EU and North Rhine Westphalia under a lead market competition scheme (‘Leitmarktwettbewerb.NRW’) to help advance the science behind effective pain therapies.
Predicting the efficacy of the next-generation of pain medicines: “Innovative predictive test systems for identification of curative analgesics”, (NeuRoWeg).
This project aims to generate predictive research approaches for the development of disease-modifying drugs, including establishing human neuron-glia co-cultures derived from appropriately induced pluripotent stem cells, as well as in-depth pathway analysis in diabetic neuropathic pain.
Visualising binding to two targets at once: “Positron-emission tomography (PET) ligands to assess dual modes of action of novel analgesics” (Dual2PET)
This project is designed to demonstrate for the first time that PET imaging can provide insights into simultaneous occupancies of two distinct targets by a single drug. The project will develop a novel PET tracer of a potassium channel (Kv7) plus 18-kDa translocator protein (TSPO) activator and compare it with a standard TSPO PET ligand in preclinical models. It will also identify allosteric modulators of μ-opioid plus nociceptin/orphanin FQ receptors.
Leading the science; pain biomarkers: “Imaging pain using a PET tracer” (PAIN-Vis)
This project aims to validate an objective and aetiology-based pain biomarker in humans to improve diagnosis and stratification of patients. The project will validate the PET-tracer in preclinical pain models and in pain patients.
Supporting the next generation of pain researchers
The Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions – Innovative Training Networks (MSCA-ITN) entitled “BonePain”, part of the Horizon 2020 framework funded by the EU, aims to generate skills, training and career development for thirteen PhD students to enable them to develop scientific expertise in bone pain. This project began in late 2015, and we are currently providing the supervision of one PhD student researching the role of the nociceptin/orphanin FQ system in a preclinical model of bone cancer pain.