Protecting the digestive tract is the key to developing safer, non-addictive therapeutics for pain and inflammation.

Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are the main category of drugs used to treat disorders characterized by pain and inflammation, with nearly 100 million tablets administered daily in the United States alone. However, their use is constrained—and often contraindicated—by frequent bleeding and ulceration of the digestive tract. The need to improve the safety of NSAIDs has been amplified by the opioid crisis, prompting an urgent worldwide demand for safe, effective and non-addictive pain medications.

Dr. John L. Wallace

Today’s solutions to pain and inflammation

The main mechanism of NSAID-induced gastrointestinal damage was identified in 1990 by Dr. John L. Wallace, Antibe’s founder and Chief Scientific Officer. Several attempts have since been made to overcome this problem. These have included the development of selectively targeted NSAIDs, the use of enteric coatings, and co-administration of stomach acid reduction medications. None of these efforts have solved the gastrointestinal toxicity of NSAIDs, and some have resulted in increased risk to the digestive tract and other body systems. Even so, a longstanding lack of alternatives has led to continued growth in NSAID usage, ranging from day-to-day consumer use to the management of severe pain.

Hydrogen Sulfide and cellular function

In 2002, hydrogen sulfide was identified as one of three biologically important gases, now collectively termed “gasotransmitters”.  Previously viewed as hostile to life, hydrogen sulfide—along with nitric oxide and carbon monoxide—have come to be recognized as central to a wide range of key cellular functions. In 2003, Dr. Wallace and his colleagues identified hydrogen sulfide’s anti-inflammatory properties. Over the succeeding years, their work would demonstrate hydrogen sulfide’s gastrointestinal-protective potential, leading to the design of Antibe’s drug platform.

Science Timeline

* NicOx is the first company to develop and gain regulatory approval for gasotransmitter-based therapeutics.

Science Timeline

*NicOx is the first company to develop gasotransmitter-based therapeutics.