BioSpectrum Asia

New Zealand backs study for safer alternativ­e to opioids


The Health Research Council of New Zealand (HRC), a crown agency of the New Zealand government responsibl­e for managing the government’s investment in health research for the public good, is backing the concept for safer alternativ­es to opioids. A New Zealand-led research team that has developed a suite of nonaddicti­ve drug compounds to treat pain has received a funding boost to progress their work through the preclinica­l developmen­t phase. The team received one of 53 grants announced by the HRC in a $78.92 million funding allocation for new and innovative research into some of New Zealand’s most pressing health concerns. The team will use a $1.2 million project grant to find the most effective and safe compound from their novel drug library for treating chronic pain. The research team will help develop the novel drugs and use innovative technology to ‘map’ pain in the brain and see how the drugs mitigate that pain. One in five adults in New Zealand suffers from chronic pain and half of pain sufferers report little pain relief with current treatments.

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