Significant pain reduction for post-shingles patients

Honolulu, HI April 1, 2003 -- NeurogesX, Inc. today announced Phase II results of a treatment for post-shingles pain, a severe pain condition that affects an estimated 400,000 Americans. The study results demonstrated that a single dose of a capsaicin-containing dermal patch provided a 33% reduction in pain scores over the course of four weeks, compared to 4% with control treatment. The results of the clinical trial were disclosed at a late-breaking science presentation made today at the American Academy of Neurologys annual meeting by Dr. Misha-Miroslav Backonja, an investigator in the study and Director of Research and Education of the University of Wisconsin Pain Treatment Center in Madison, Wisconsin.

The study demonstrates that long-term pain relief may be provided by a single application of high-concentration capsaicin patches, said Dr. Backonja. Importantly, because the patch-based treatment is localized, the systemic side effects of traditional treatments may be avoided. Despite expected pain increases during the procedure due to the pungent nature of capsaicin, overall tolerability was good. Dr. Backonja said no safety concerns were identified. A plasma sample analysis of patients confirmed the lack of systemic capsaicin absorption.

Postherpetic Neuralgia
Every year, nearly 1 million Americans get shingles, a condition caused by varicella-zoster virus, the virus that also causes chickenpox. The condition usually results in a rash, blistering and, in many cases, severe pain. Many patients continue to have severe pain even after the rash disappears. This condition is called postherpetic neuralgia. It often persists for many years. Most current pain treatments for this pain syndrome require multiple doses each day and can cause side effects such as fatigue, light-headedness, fluid retention, constipation or dry mouth.

Capsaicins Pain Relief Impact
Capsaicin, the pungent ingredient in hot chili peppers, activa

Contact: Mike Jackman
Jackman Communications

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