New painkiller could replace morphine, says study
SCIENTISTS last Wednesday (17) unveiled a synthetic drug that appears to neutralise pain as effectively as morphine, but without the side-effects that make opioids so dangerous and addictive. The big-data methods used by the researchers also open up a promising avenue in drug innovation, they reported in the journal Nature. In experiments with mice, the new compound – identified after screening “trillions” of candidates activated a known molecular pathway in the brain that triggers pain suppression. But unlike morphine and prescription drugs such as oxycodone or oxycontin, it did not switch on a second pathway that can slow or block…
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