Market Overview

Phoenix PharmaLabs Awarded NIH/NIDA Grant to Study Non-Addictive Opioid PPL-103 for Potential use as Cocaine Addiction Therapy Drug


Phoenix PharmaLabs, Inc., a privately-held company developing a
non-addictive opioid compound, PPL-103, today announced it received a
one-year $186,687 grant from the National Institutes of Health
(NIH)/National Institute for Drug Abuse (NIDA) to study PPL-103 for use
as a cocaine addiction therapy drug. This research is supported under
award number R41DA044894.

Research will be led by Lawrence Toll, Ph.D., chief neuropharmacologist
of Phoenix, Professor, Department of Biomedical Sciences, Charles E.
Schmidt College of Medicine, Florida Atlantic University and president
of the International Narcotics Research Conference. The grant will fund
additional studies to determine if PPL-103 has potential to be used for
treatment of cocaine addiction. Results from earlier in vivo
studies conducted by Phoenix with NIDA support have demonstrated that
PPL-103 is effective for opioid addiction therapy.

All opioids on the market today bind to the mu receptor and then
aggressively stimulate that receptor. It is the mu receptor that
produces the euphoria that leads to abuse and addiction of opiates.
Phoenix's drug, PPL-103 is a patented analog that binds strongly to all
three opioid receptors in the brain (mu, kappa and delta) and then
partially stimulates each of those receptors in a more balanced manner.
This partial stimulation derives potent analgesic benefit but is not
sufficiently strong to produce the serious opioid side-effects
associated with any single receptor.

Dr. Toll commented that in the underlying initial research used to
secure this grant, scientists at Phoenix wanted to see if PPL-103 would
block relapse in cocaine-seeking rats. "Our initial study has
demonstrated that the drug is effective in blocking relapse from cocaine
self-administration in rodents. With the funding received, we are
studying whether PPL-103 can block other things that induce relapse,
such as stress and cues – the same things that induce relapse in people."

William Crossman, CEO of Phoenix PharmaLabs, said, "Currently there are
no medications that are effective for treating cocaine addiction. If we
are successful in these studies, we believe this can open another avenue
to pursue for the clinical use of PPL-103 along with opioid addiction
therapy and treatment of moderate to severe pain."

The company has already conducted several preclinical in vivo
studies of PPL-103 as an opioid pain killer that is not addictive. These
published and unpublished studies have demonstrated that PPL-103 is:

  • An orally active potent pain killer (10x more potent than morphine)
  • Does not cause death from overdose (even when given at 350x dose)
  • Does not cause physical dependence or withdrawal
  • Does not cause constipation (even at 100x dose)
  • Has demonstrated potential in monkeys as an opioid addiction therapy
    drug replacing currently used treatments that are themselves addictive

Phoenix PharmaLabs is completing additional pre-clinical work on PPL-103
as a non-addictive opioid pain treatment prior to filing an IND within
approximately 18 months to commence human clinical trials.

Phoenix PharmaLabs (
is a privately held, preclinical drug discovery company focused on the
development and commercialization of new potent, non-addictive
treatments for pain and new therapies for the treatment of addiction.

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