If you are as excited as we are about this new era of non-opioid pain management and want to learn more, explore our series of articles that unravel the fascinating history of target validation of voltage-gated sodium channels, showcase the breakthroughs achieved so far, and look forward to what lies ahead for the industry.


    Drug Hunter offers industry professionals a faster way to find and absorb the latest research and insights in drug discovery. It is a curated collection of the most relevant and transferable scientific knowledge so you can spend less time weeding through the noise and more time turning molecules into medicines. But we also love hearing from you, the drug hunters in the field.


    The discovery that individuals with null mutations in the NaV1.7 exhibited pain insensitivity sparked interest in targeting NaV1.7 to potentially treat pain. Despite the potential of selectively inhibiting sodium channels like NaV1.7, NaV1.8, and NaV1.9 for pain management, developing selective inhibitors suitable for clinical use has proven challenging. This article complements our coverage of VX-548, NaV1.8 as a critical target in pain management, and our NaV1.8 compound roundup and provides a reminder of noteworthy preclinical and clinical NaV1.7 small molecule inhibitors as of April 2024.


    ORIC-533, a potential best-in-class oral inhibitor of CD73 from ORIC Pharmaceuticals, is currently in a Ph. Ib trial for relapsed/refractory multiple myeloma (MM). It inhibits the CD73-mediated conversion of AMP to adenosine which generates an immunosuppressive tumor microenvironment and has the potential to be a next-generation immunotherapy. The in-depth use of X-ray structures led the team to discover a novel set of phosphonate bioisosteres which acheived bioavailability in a polar scaffold. The structure and discovery of ORIC-533 were recently disclosed at the ACS Spring 2024 Meeting.


    In March, Crinetics Pharmaceuticals revealed their discovery of CRN04894, a first-in-class nonpeptide melanocortin type 2 receptor (MC2R) antagonist which is currently being evaluated in several Ph. II trials. Additional molecules to make the top ten include a preclinical, brain-penetrant casein kinase 1 delta (CK1δ) inhibitor and a WT-sparing phosphatidylinositol-4,5-bisphosphate 3-kinase catalyt [...]