News Feature | February 25, 2014

Spinifex Pharmaceutical's Trial Of EMA401 Shows Efficacy in Postherpetic Neuralgia

Source: Pharmaceutical Online

By Cyndi Root

Spinifex Pharmaceuticals announced via a press release results from a clinical trial of EMA401 published in The Lancet. The Phase 2 trial for the angiotensin II type 2 (AT2) receptor antagonist was for postherpetic neuralgia (PHN). The primary endpoint, reducing pain, was met and compared to a placebo, pain intensity decreased. Tom McCarthy CEO of Spinifex said, “There is a clear need for new

treatments that bring patients pain relief with fewer CNS side effects. In addition to PHN, we see broad potential for EMA401 to treat a range of chronic painful conditions such as pain due to osteoarthritis and diabetes. We look forward to delivering on the further development of EMA401.” He added that publication in the Lancet demonstrated the quality of the company’s research.

Postherpetic Neuralgia

PHN is a disorder caused by the chickenpox virus, the herpes zoster virus that causes shingles. When the painful blisters and rash do not disappear in a few weeks, PHN is diagnosed. Symptoms are painful, as the condition affects the skin and nerves. Patients are often distressed with severe pain and burning that is severe enough to disrupt sleep. Older people are more susceptible to PHN and those with shingles on the face are more likely to contract PHN. Current medications do not cure the disorder, only relieves the symptoms.


EMA401 is a first in its class treatment for PHN. It is administered orally, relieves pain, and is without central nervous system (CNS) side effects. The EMA401 Phase 2 trial primary endpoint was met for reducing pain. Those patients taking the agent reported a greater reduction in pain than those taking a placebo. Additionally, pain intensity was reduced in EMA401 patients compared to placebo patients. Some patients were already taking medications for pain and these patients also found relief by adding EMA401 to their regime. Spinifex has conducted other animal and human studies on EMA401. These studies have shown a positive pharmacokinetic profile, along with safety and efficacy findings. The company is also investigating the drug for relieving pain in chemotherapy patients.

About Spinifex Pharmaceuticals

Spinifex Pharmaceuticals is headquartered in Melbourne, Australia. The company focuses on pain management. EMA401 is its leading product. Spinifex states that pain management is a high unmet need with a market of over 35 billion in the U.S. in the next few years.