Furiex Pharmaceuticals has received fast-track designation from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for MuDelta, a novel diarrhoea-predominant irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) treatment.

MuDelta, currently in Phase II clinical trials, is a novel mu-opioid receptor agonist and delta-opioid receptor antagonist.

Early pre-clinical and Phase I clinical data indicates that the drug may provide effective relief for both pain and diarrhoeal symptoms of the condition without the constipation effects usually observed with mu receptor agonists.

Diarrhoea-predominant IBS is characterised by chronic abdominal pain and frequent diarrhoea. It is thought to affect approximately 12 million people in the US.

The fast-track programme is designed to facilitate the development and accelerate the review of new drugs for serious or life-threatening diseases, and show potential to address an unmet clinical need.