Hope for the Future at the 11th Annual Pain and Migraine Therapeutics Summit

Hope for the Future at the 11th Annual Pain and Migraine Therapeutics Summit

One of the most frustrating – and complicated – parts of treating migraine is the sheer number of differences in how the disease presents in each of us and how uniquely we respond to varying medications and methods of relief. That’s why I left this year’s Annual Pain and Migraine Therapeutics Summit with so much hope for the future.

Individualized treatment for migraine

From novel ways to measure the effectiveness and types of relief provided by new and old pain medications to progress developing new pathways in the body for such medications to travel, this year’s conference was primarily focused on finding and developing individualized answers to migraine and pain. Some of the industry’s top researchers, including Narender Gavva; Andre Ghetti; G.J. Groeneveld; Tilo Grosser; D. Lynn Kirkpatrick; Mike Nemenov; Frank L. Rice; and Neil Singla, presented their recent work on pain test batteries, safer opioid compounds, sodium channel blockers, potassium channels, anti-CGRP medications, human sensory neurons, and more.

Specific lectures, included among others:

  • Potassium Channels as Pain and Migraine Targets: Challenges and Path Forward
  • Human Sensory Neurons in Pain Drug Discovery: New Preclinical Strategies for Identifying Clinical Candidates
  • The Use of a Multi-Modal Pain Test Battery in Early Phase Clinical Drug Development
  • Variability in the Response to Non-steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs)
  • The Use of Multi-molecular Profiling of Skin Biopsies to Detect Disease and Patient Specific Novel Pathologies and Therapeutic Targets for Personalized Treatment of Chronic Pain

Feeling hopeful for new migraine tools

The talks, though varied in focus, represented a single industry goal: to uncover and understand the individual factors in human genetics and drug profiles that make pain and migraine so difficult to manage. Hearing so many brilliant minds discuss how extensively focused on this issue they are, left me feeling as though we’re finally close to some answers.

I’m not the only one feeling hopeful either. The summit’s presenters overwhelmingly expressed renewed enthusiasm for their work now that the controversy over opioid use has revitalized pharmaceutical companies’ interest in developing new ways to treat pain.

As the summit’s chairman, William K. Schmidt, Ph.D., said, the “opioid crisis is really a crisis of not having the right tools in the right hands.” Sounds like the entire pain management industry is working to change that. And, regardless of how any one of us personally feels about using opioids, I think we all can agree that it would be beneficial to have more tools in our migraine toolbox.

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