About TTX

Tetrodotoxin or TTX is a non-peptide neurotoxin, a safe, well-tolerated, non-addictive alternative to opioids. TTX blocks the voltage-gated sodium channels (VGSCs) found on nerves which conduct pain impulses, which are known to be affected in chronic pain conditions. TTX is highly specific to VGSCs on nerve cells, with limited effect on heart muscle cells.

The current gold standard for moderate to severe pain treatment is opioids, representing a market opportunity of more than $7 billion worldwide each year. However, opioids have limitations. Serious risk factors associated with opioids include respiratory, gastrointestinal and central nervous system side effects. Opioids can also be ineffective - one in four patients fail opioid treatment. Finally, opioids have a risk of addiction and tolerance, which is a limiting factor in prescribing this class of drugs.

TTX is 3000 times more potent than morphine without the opioid-like side effects. It is non-addictive, with no tolerance issues, rapid onset and a long duration of action. WEX has completed five clinical trials with TTX, with more than 718 patients treated to date, in which TTX was shown to be safe and well-tolerated.

Our first indication, TTX for cancer-related pain, is in Phase III clinical development in Canada. WEX has filed a protocol with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on 24 January 2012 for our second indication-chemotherapy, TTX for chemotherapy-induced neuropathic pain (CINP). This is a randomized, double-blind, dose-finding, placebo-controlled, multicenter study of the potential efficacy and safety of TTX in patients with CINP.