Flex Pharma, Inc., a biotechnology company focused on therapies for muscle cramps and spasms associated with neuromuscular conditions, recently announced that it will present new data on its therapeutic agent FLX-787 at the 2015 Annual Meeting of the Society for Neuroscience, currently taking place in Chicago (October 17–21).
The presentation will be conducted by Dr. Glenn Short, the Senior Director of Research at Flex Pharma, and is entitled “Transient receptor potential vanilloid 1 (TRPV1) and transient receptor potential ankyrin-1 (TRPA1) activators reduce human muscle cramping.”
Flex Pharma has developed a GMP (Good Manufacturing Practice)-synthesized single agent called FLX-787, which is capable of interfering with TRPV1 and TRPA1 receptors involved in pain and neurogenic inflammation.
Researchers reported that FLX-787 (either as a single agent molecule or doublet combination) can lead to a significant reduction in human muscle cramp intensity in a dose-response way, where the higher the concentration, the better is the resulting inhibitory effect.
“These results suggest that both the single agent molecules and the doublet combinations are efficacious at decreasing cramp intensity in a potentially dose-responsive manner,” Flex Pharma Chief Medical Officer Dr. Tom Wessel said in a press release. “Along with the recent demonstration of enhanced efficacy with GMP-synthesized single agent and doublet combinations compared to the original proprietary formulation, our product development efforts continue to advance.”
“Taken together, these data demonstrate the utility of Flex Pharma’s proprietary products to treat cramps and the general strategy of chemical neuro stimulation to potentially limit alpha-motor neuron hyperexcitability in other neurological diseases,” added Dr. Rod MacKinnon, 2003 Nobel laureate and Flex Pharma Scientific Co-Founder and Scientific Advisory Board Co-Chair.
Spasms and severe cramping have been reported in several medical conditions including multiple sclerosis (MS), a progressive neurodegenerative autoimmune disorder characterized by motor function impairment and irreversible neurological disability. Many patients with multiple sclerosis suffer from mild to severe spasticity, a feeling of stiffness and muscle spasms that can contribute to the deterioration of the patient’s physical condition and well-being. Flex Pharma’s FLX-787 may represent a possible future therapeutic approach to alleviate muscle spasticity in MS patients, ultimately improving their quality of life. Further studies are, however, required in this patient population in order to validate this hypothesis.