May 1st, 2019, marked the milestone of Lateral Pharma’s fourth year anniversary, a celebration of significant progress in the clinical development of LAT8881. We take a step back and reflect on the big picture, the world is filled with people suffering from neuropathic chronic pain, a catalyst, for the opioid overdose epidemic, where the toll of addiction, in lost lives and broken families, touches every community. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (2018), in 2017, 47,600 Americans died because of opioid overdose (31,620 and 41,760 Americans are estimated to die in 2019 from prostate cancer and breast cancer respectively(NIH, 2019)), similarly, gabapentinoid deaths are also on the rise (Mannix & Dow, 2018).
Figure 1 U.S. drug overdose deaths involving any opioid, 1999-2017
The world needs a safe, effective, non-addictive treatment to manage chronic neuropathic pain, and with LAT8881 we believe we may have the solution. Looking ahead, Lateral welcomes the exciting prospects of completing human clinical trials and forming commercial partnerships to vindicate the investment of shareholders.
As you may remember, initially the focus of Lateral Pharma was to develop LAT8881 for the treatment of osteoarthritis (OA) as an injectable, however, we quickly ran into difficulties in developing a stable injectable formulation. Our product pipeline concurrently produced exciting oral efficacy LAT881 data in various preclinical pain models. We realized, that due to existing clinical data, we could take LAT8881 straight to Phase 2 human trials with the original capsule formulation; and accordingly changed our focus from an OA injectable to an oral neuropathic pain treatment. In a commercial sense, an oral pain drug is considerably more marketable than an injectable OA treatment.