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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Novel developments with selective, non-peptidic kappa-opioid receptor agonists.

Despite the recent introduction of a number of new compounds, there has of late been a cooling of interest by pharmaceutical companies in the development of centrally-active, selective kappa opioid agonists for therapeutic purposes. This is reflected in the discontinuation of a number of clinical trials, for reasons that are often not completely clear to outside observers. Spiradoline and enadoline have apparently been abandoned as potential analgesics because they induce dose-limiting central side-effects (i.e., dysphoria) in models of post-surgical pain. The development of niravoline as an aquaretic for the treatment of cirrhosis with ascites and other hyponatraemic disorders has also been halted. Enadoline may yet find some application against ischaemic stroke and severe head injury, presumably in comatose patients in whom psychiatric side-effects are taken to be immaterial, while apadoline and TRK 820 remain in Phase II clinical testing against cancer pain. The peripherally-selective kappa agonists, asimadoline, and the atypical compound, fedotozine, are well-tolerated in man. Results of Phase III trials of fedotozine against irritable bowel syndrome and dyspepsia have, however, ultimately been disappointing, whereas asimadoline is currently in Phase II clinical trials against pain of rheumatic and osteoarthritic origin. The results of these trials are eagerly awaited.[1]


  1. Novel developments with selective, non-peptidic kappa-opioid receptor agonists. Barber, A., Gottschlich, R. Expert opinion on investigational drugs. (1997) [Pubmed]
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