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New drug reduces nerve pain in patients with type 2 diabetes

A new drug can decrease the pain suffered by type 2 diabetes patients as a result of neuropathy, a study reports.
The drug, known as ARA 290, activates a receptor that switches off inflammation and powers the body’s natural repair system.
ARA 290 has been developed by Araim Pharmaceuticals, and the results of the study were published in Molecular Medicine.
The ARA 290 study
The study involved administering ARA 290 to patients for 28 days in order to discover the drug’s potential for treating neuropathic pain. The results indicated anti-inflammatory and tissue protective properties, in addition to long-term beneficial effects on a variety of symptoms, both pain-related and non-pain-related.
Some of the patients were given the ARA 290 drug and some were given a placebo. The pain experienced by patients was then assessed using the PainDetect questionnaire: the patients given ARA 290 indicated significant pain reduction compared to the patients receiving the placebo.
The patients given ARA 290 also exhibited improved HbA1c and lipid profiles throughout a 56-day observation period. Moreover, the short half-life of ARA 290 minimises the risk of side effects.
Future studies
The significant results of the study have inspired the development of future studies, both to be conducted in 2015: the first one will study metabolic improvements in patients with type 2 diabetes with moderate kidney damage, and the second will assess neuropathic pain reduction in people with type 1 diabetes.
Kevin J. Tracey, president of the Feinstein Institute for Medical Research and Editor of Molecular Medicine said: “The results from this study indicate a major breakthrough in the treatment of diabetes.
Anthony Cerami, CEO of Araim Pharmaceuticals, said: “ARA 290 is a novel first in class drug that has the potential to be the next generation of anti-cytokine therapies – it turns off all damaging cytokines we have tested, and in animal and preliminary human trials promotes the repair of small nerve fibres – demonstrating real disease modification.
“We’re excited to be on the cusp of the first diabetic disease modifier that demonstrates the potential to repair the complications of diabetes systematically.”

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