J&J offloads midphase pain program to Neumentum

JNJ-10450232 will slot into a pipeline spearheaded by NTM-001, a ketorolac formulation. (Raysonho/CC0)

Neumentum has licensed a midphase oral analgesic from Johnson & Johnson. The agreement covers an asset that came through a phase 2 pain trial in 2015 only to stall following the completion of the study.

J&J tested two doses of the drug, JNJ-10450232, in a trial of 269 subjects with dental pain after the surgical removal of teeth. The study compared the analgesic efficacy of capsules of JNJ-10450232 to that of placebo and acetaminophen over the six hours after treatment. Secondary endpoints looked at the change in pain intensity at multiple time points from 15 minutes to 24 hours after treatment.

The higher dose of JNJ-10450232—1000 mg—performed comparably to acetaminophen against the primary endpoint, although patients on the comparator reported numerically bigger improvements in pain in the first two hours of the trial.

Public references to JNJ-10450232, which were scant prior to the start of the phase 2 trial, dried up completely after J&J reported the data on ClinicalTrials.gov. Now, Neumentum wants to give the drug a second life and, in doing so, further its bid to become a leading non-opioid analgesic company.

“By strategically expanding our pipeline, Neumentum will be well positioned to address patients’ and providers' needs for acute pain relief in both hospital and community settings, with both IV and oral non-opioid products,” Neumentum CEO Scott Shively said in a statement. “There is a real lack of innovation in the pain management space, despite a growing need for new options that are safe and effective.”

Neumentum wants to take JNJ-10450232, which it describes as neither an opioid nor a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug, forward in the treatment of moderate to moderately severe acute pain. The deal, financial details of which were not disclosed, also gives Neumentum control of a portfolio of backup compounds.

JNJ-10450232 will slot into a pipeline spearheaded by NTM-001, a ketorolac formulation designed for the short-term management of moderately severe acute pain that requires opioid-level painkilling.