Zalicus Inc., (Nasdaq Capital Market: ZLCS) a biopharmaceutical company that discovers and develops novel treatments for patients suffering from pain, today announced that it is advancing Z944, its novel oral T-type calcium channel blocker, into further clinical development in the third quarter of 2013. The planned Phase 1b study is a state-of-the-art experimental clinical model utilizing Laser-Evoked Potentials (LEP) to provide an efficient and objective assessment of the activity of Z944 in an induced neuropathic pain state. Results from the LEP study can further inform Zalicus's development plans for Z944 in a variety of potential indications.
“T-type calcium channels are known to be widely implicated in the frequency and intensity of pain signals, and we believe Z944 is the most advanced T-type calcium channel blocker currently in clinical development”
The LEP clinical model is a type of experimental medicine study designed to provide both objective and subjective data on a drug's ability to modulate pain signaling. In this model electrical voltage fluctuations evoked by laser thermal stimulation are quantified with vertex-Electroencephalography (EEG) in addition to a subject-reported pain score. Many currently approved and emerging pain drugs have been evaluated using the LEP model, providing the ability to benchmark the efficacy of Z944 against other therapies.
"T-type calcium channels are known to be widely implicated in the frequency and intensity of pain signals, and we believe Z944 is the most advanced T-type calcium channel blocker currently in clinical development," commented Mark H.N. Corrigan, MD, President and CEO of Zalicus. "The Laser Evoked Potential experimental model is an efficient way to gather response data in a clinical setting to further support the potential efficacy of Z944 in pain and inform future development decisions."