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October 18, 2017updated 24 Oct 2017 1:24pm

Amgen and Boston Children’s Hospital to identify new targets for pain syndromes

Amgen has entered a neuroscience research collaboration with Boston Children’s Hospital to find new genes and drug targets for severe pain syndromes based on human genetic analyses.

As part of the one-year collaboration, the two organisations will focus on patients with genetic anomalies of pain sensitivity such as genetic disorders that diminish pain sensitivity, for example, erythromelalgia, a condition that causes intense, burning pain in the extremities.

The pain syndromes will also include paroxysmal extreme pain disorder, a condition characterised by skin flushing and severe pain attacks in various parts of the body, as well as hereditary sensory and autonomic neuropathy.

Amgen Neuroscience Research vice-president Dr John Dunlop said: “Amgen is pleased to enter this collaboration as it underscores our extensive investment and expertise in pursuing targets that have clear genetic support.

Amgen is pleased to enter this collaboration as it underscores our extensive investment and expertise in pursuing targets that have clear genetic support.”

“We look forward to working with Boston Children’s Hospital to explore novel pain targets that will potentially include new non-addictive approaches to treating pain in patients.”

Under the deal, Amgen will use its expertise in genetic target identification and validation and will have access to Boston Children’s Hospital ‘s division of pain medicine to identify patients with abnormal pain conditions.

Boston Children’s Hospital ‘s Division of Pain Medicine treats patients with rare conditions that make them significantly insensitive to pain or, conversely, hypersensitive to pain, or apt to experience pain spontaneously with no apparent stimulus.

The two partners will work in collaboration to validate the genetic findings as potential pain targets.

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