Pharmaceutical Company Given Grant to Develop Abuse-Free Prescription Painkiller

    The state of Ohio is giving $3 million to Elysium Therapeutics to develop an abuse-free prescription pain medication to help mitigate the opioid epidemic.

    This grant is part of a $20 million program to address the opioid-overdose problems in the state.

    The goal of the grant is to find advances in high-tech solutions and help reduce opioid-related deaths. In 2016, Ohio counted 4,050 overdose deaths, an increase of 1,000 from the previous year.

    Ohio ranked second for the worst state with opioid overdose deaths in 2016. The Hamilton County coroner released figures that indicate overdose deaths increased more than 30 percent in 2017 over the previous year.

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    Elysium Therapeutics CEO Greg Sturner told the Cincinnati Enquirer that many people who die from using opioids begin with prescription painkillers.

    “Our goal is to reduce the number of fatal overdoses,” he said to the paper. “[To] disrupt progression of people who start with oral opioids.”

    Work is underway on a new class of opioids that will protect individuals from misuse and fatal overdose.

    Elysium plans to create a new class of opioid pain relievers that will help reduce abuse and fatal overdoses. The company’s technologies are designed to be more effective pain management for patients and physicians, decreasing the cost of prescription drug abuse for families and saving as many lives as possible.

    The company has a solution to reduce the supply and abuse of opioids: XpiRx technology. This molecular deactivation technology will decrease the opioid potency during and after the prescribed-use periods.

    During the prescribed-use period, the goal is to offer effective pain relief and administer a non-oral option that is abuse-resistant. After the prescribed-use period, the opioid will have minimal or no effect, like a placebo.

    It will be “abuse-proof” and will be unattractive to chronic abusers, protect against fatal overdose, and will be applicable to IR and ER oral painkillers, which account for 90 percent of all prescription opioids.