Recently, according tomedia reports, the United States Navega Therapeutics company proposed that gene editing methods can be used to suppress the “pain gene”, so as to replace the drug to relieve long-term or chronic pain. Americans account for less than 5% of the world’s population, but consume 80 percent of the world’s prescription marijuana drugs. Drug sales have more than quadrupled in the past decade to $11 billion a year.
Professor Ulnov, of the University of California, says that in the United States, 70,000 people die each year from overdoses of painkillers, and drug addiction kills more people than cocaine and heroin combined, or even more than car accidents.
Most cancer patients suffer severe pain during chemotherapy, and the current method of pain relief is to take drugs such as morphine, but it is very prone to addiction and fatigue. Therefore, the use of non-anaesthetic methods to deal with cancer pain will bring great benefits.
The researchers experimented with mice using gene editing techniques to suppress a gene called SCN9A, which is associated with pain perception. Studies in mice have shown that the method does stop pain signals from being sent, and Navega plans to begin human trials next year.