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U of C researcher recognized for promising non-addictive pain medication

University of Calgary (File) University of Calgary (File)

A new molecule developed by a Calgary researcher shows promise in treating chronic pain without the use of opioids.

Dr. Ketul Patel has developed a new medicine that targets a recently discovered pathway in the brain - called a T-type calcium channel - that stays away from the usual opioid receptors that can lead to addiction.

"They are very addictive and have serious side effects," Patel says of opioid-based medications. "In fact, they create more problems than what they solve."

So far the medicine shows no signs of either dependency or drug tolerance - it hasn't entered clinical trials yet - but could help ease some of the opioid crisis by preventing patients from becoming addicted in the first place.

"It's not a therapy for those who are already addicted. But this would be like alternative therapy, so we can avoid the abuse," Patel says.

Patel was recognized Wednesday with a Mitacs Award for Outstanding Innovation - Postdoctoral.

The underlying research was also supported from Zymedyne Therapuetics and the Government of Alberta. Top Stories

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