Treating Peripheral Neuropathy
The hope is that these new findings support the potential for select anti-muscarinic drugs already on the market, like pirenzepine, to be repurposed as a possible preventative, and even treatment, for the clinical effects of peripheral neuropathy, which, for patients, has been largely been a matter of pain relief, and associated with significant health care costs.4
Even more promising is that even with the range of possible off-target effects caused by inhibiting muscarinic receptors, side effects are not a significant concern for this class of drugs. Already, the push has begun to start testing this form of therapy in humans.
Dr. Fernyhough’s company WinSanTor Inc. has organized phase 1 trials to begin this summer, which will be funded by the National Institutes of Health’s Small Business Innovation Research program. The expectation is that this study will demonstrate good efficacy, considering anti-muscarinic agents’ lauded safety, but remains necessary given the introduction of a novel topical form of this drug.