Currently, there's a lot of speculation as to what the next move is for Zalicus. Investors and traders are wondering how the company will bounce back after the rather painful and disappointing synavive news back in September 2012. Well, now is just about time for Zalicus Management to take things out of first gear with their ion channels!
PAIN KILLS , literally..
Prescription opioid painkillers are responsible for more fatal overdoes in the U.S. than heroin and cocaine combined, according to a new study out of Brandeis University.
Opioid painkillers include prescription narcotics such as like Vicodin (hydrocodone), OxyContin (oxycodone), Opana (oxmorphone) and methodone.
Zalicus Solves The Addictive Drug Problem...
Zalicus is targeting ion channels to offer effective pain relief without generating the side effects of typical painkilling drugs. It is the most common symptom of injury and diseases and pain remains the primary reason a person visits the doctor. 50 MILLION people suffer from chronic pain. The adverse side effects for limit long term use and as a result there's a great need for less toxic and addictive drugs.
Pain responsive nerve cells (nociceptors) are electric cells that respond to pain stimuli. They relay info to the central nervous system and intensify the ensuing pain. Nociceptos are sensitized during inflammation, and their ionic properties are altered and their firing characteristics changes. The sesnsitiization causes hyperalgesia, or increased sensitivity to pain.
Zalicus has taken an essential route to increase success in ion channel drug discovery altering the channel expression in model systems, thus making improvements in arguably the greatest ion channel drug discovery of the decade - Z160.
Problem Solve from previous Merck NMED 160
The most challenging aspect of ion channel drug discovery may be the identification of an appropriate, small molecule drug lead with desirable chemical properties that qualify it for exploration by medicinal chemistry. This is a key element in successful ion channel preclinical drug development. Ion channels have traditionally been considered difficult targets to engage in high throughput functional formats are amendable to application of ultrahigh throughput automation strategies.
Zalicus recently revolutionized their automated patch clamp technologies that can confirm a compound's direct function effects on the channel, determine its selectivity across superfamileis of ion channels, and provide mechanistic insights, all accomplished in a rapid fashion.
New modes of local drug delivery, novel Ca2+ channel targets, and increased choices for drugs with activity at Na+ channels are transforming this longstanding therapeutic strategy. Clinicial decision making is increasingly informed by a more nuanced understanding of the role of voltage-gated Na+ channels and Ca2+ channels in the pathophysiology of nerve injury.
Zalicus holds a great promise for the future, taking mechanism-based approaches with Z160 and Z944 to treatment, where the Dr. Corrigan and his team have learned the importance in analesica mechanisms of drug action and relationships between pathophysiologic mechanicims and clinical presentation.
Z160: As many of you know from recent articles, this drug has the potential to reach a $1 BILLION dollar market alone. Previously when the NMED 160 was partnered with Merck back in 2007 comments from the Neuromed CEO and Merck said NMED 160 was safe, but lacked bioavailability. WHAT INVESTORS SEEM TO FORGETAND I QUOTE...
"We are encouraged by what we have learned from MK-6721 and are continuing with focus on improving the pharmaseutical properties of our compound to produce a best in class pain treatment"
- Dr Christopher Gallen
Now, it's been just about 6 years since that comment has been made to the public. 6 years and millions have been put on the R&D of a new and improved Z160. Isn't it somehow ironic how the trial ends in August and Zalicus plans to report data for the LSR study in September/October - EXACTLY one year after synavive. Not saying this was planned, but timing works out perfect for investors to not only AVOID the reverse split, but also see a signinfcant increase in the price per share.
Z944: There's been a ton of specluation on the status of this drug. Once investors were not provided with an advacement into phase II during first quarter 2013 a sell-off began which has led to the current share price around .60 cents. Justin Renz in the previous presentation stated that Dr. Mark Corrigan was in Orlando speaking with experts on clinical path forward. Investor relations has also communicated that members from the Orlando Epileplsy Center have attended conferences with various thought leaders met to discuss Z944. This is the big SLEEPER in my opinion. I expect there is GREAT news soon to be released with Z944 and I have a hunch Zalicus partners this drug prior to any Z 160 results. Think about it, the company is sitting on $26 million in cash and Management hasn't said a WORD in regards to it's current progress. Data hasn't even been released, but smart investors know it's positive due to the recent patent filings.
Disclosure: I am long ZLCS.