Creating A New Pain Medication To Combat The Opioid Epidemic

BIO5 Team of Scientist Dr. Gokhale and Dr. Khanna

About 78 Americans die each day from an opioid overdose, and the nation’s opioid crisis has been declared a public health emergency by the Department of Health and Human Services. Luckily, a team of researchers, including Dr. Vijay Gokhale, Senior Research Scientist at the BIO5 Institute, and BIO5 member Dr. Rajesh Khanna, UA Associate Professor of Anesthesiology and Neuroscience, and Professor of Pharmacology, have co-founded a startup called Regulonix which has recently licenced a new class of non-opioid compounds to treat pain. Gokhale and Khanna are also the inventors of the new drug candidate, along with fellow co-founder Dr. May Khanna, UA Professor of Pharmacology. The new compounds are more effective at reducing pain than morphine, non-addictive, and non-toxic at high doses—the key to their effectiveness is a focus on the NaV1.7 sodium channel.

Project Investigators: