A novel patented technology (Algotect) has been developed to accurately identify patients who are cold hyperalgesic and require specific pain management.
A recent Australian clinical trial (n=80) conducted with funding from a multi-national pharmaceutical company clearly segmented a group of knee osteoarthritis patients into those that had more pain, more disability, more widespread hyperalgesia and more neuropathic pain symptoms.
This group did not respond well to a standard non-steroidal medication. Cold hyperalgesic groups have been identified for a range of painful conditions and it is likely that these patients require more specific pain management.
More than 1.5 billion people worldwide suffer from chronic pain (American Academy of Pain Medicine) and around 100 million Americans suffer chronic pain (Institute of Medicine of the National Academies).
In developed countries about 30-40% of the population suffer pain from musculoskeletal and joint disorders plus an additional 30% suffer neck and back pain (International Association for the Study of Pain).
A chronic pain survey by the American Pain Foundation in 2006 (n=303) revealed 51% had little or no control over their pain and 59% reported an impact on their quality of life. The Algotect device identifies those most at risk of poor outcomes.
Managing Director and co-founder Prof Tony Wright comments, “There is an unmet medical need for a simple diagnostic test such as Algotect. Determining early on those patients who will develop chronic pain and providing them with more effective treatment will generate significant health outcomes for individuals and reduce costs on a global scale.”
The Algotect device measures an increased pain response to a cold stimulus (cold hyperalgesia). Patients who have cold hyperalgesia have more pain and more disability than others.
The prototype uses a transdermal patch that activates TRPM8 receptors in peripheral tissues over a 10-minute period. Patients indicate their sensory response via a computer interface.
A patented algorithm quantifies the sensory response and delivers a scored report indicating if their pain can be managed effectively through simple analgesics or if more comprehensive pain management is required.
Algometron seeks partners interested in commercially developing the innovative device, which provides real time, cost effective information to support clinicians, researchers, drug development and clinical trials.