In the search for non-opioid options to treat pain Mesoblast has turned to a stem cell approach which is currently in late-stage development for chronic low back pain. However interviewed experts say its potential for Phase III success is uncertain due to scant human evidence with this stem cell product for treating pain. Even if it reaches the market the therapy would face various access restrictions according to reporting from Shuan Sim Pharma Writer for the Investigative News team at GlobalData a leading data and analytics company.
Sim comments: ďWhile Mesoblastís MPC-06-ID is projected to be a multibillion-dollar asset experts whom I spoke to do not believe the therapy would reach blockbuster status easilyĒ.
Nektar Therapeutics recently withdrew its approval application for its opioid treatment NKTR-181 (oxycodegol) after receiving a 27-0 vote from the US Food and Drug Administrationís (FDAís) Advisory Committee (AdCom) against giving the drug a go-ahead. The companyís share price dropped 15.9% the next day 15 January. There are still 31 companies with opioid candidates in clinical development to treat pain according to GlobalData.
There are 194 companies with 218 non-opioid drug candidates in clinical development for treating pain but only one other than Mesoblast is developing a stem cell therapy according to GlobalData. While Mesoblast is more advanced with Phase III results expected in 3Q20 BioRestorative Therapies has a Phase II-ready candidate BRTX-100 for lower back pain.
Sim concluded: ďWhile physicians are looking forward to non-opioid options experts noted that payers would likely put up restrictions because of the expected high cost and inadequate diagnostic frameworks needed to find those patients ideally suited to receive stem cell treatmentĒ.