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New opioid douses pain without being addictive or deadly in primates

‘BU08028’s lack of nasty side-effects may hinge on its dual-action biochemistry. Like other opioids, it controls pain by targeting the nervous system’s classic μ-opioid peptide receptors, called MOP receptors. But BU08028 also targets “nonclassical” opioid receptors, called NOP receptors for nociceptin receptors, in the nervous system. These receptor proteins generally don’t interact with opioid drugs, yet they share similarities with the receptors that do. NOP receptors regulate pain, like their MOP counterparts, but they are also involved in a host of other brain functions, such as memory, cardiovascular functions, and anxiety…

Next, the researchers hope to test BU08028 at treating chronic pain without risks of addiction or overdoses. Regardless of BU08028’s fate in subsequent trials, the researchers are hopeful that the strategy of co-activating NOP and MOP receptors will eventually lead to a safer painkiller…’

Source: Ars Technica

[Yeah, but they always seem to be nonaddictive and without abuse potential at this stage in the game…]