Archive for Monday, October 17, 2011

Medical startup to locate in KU’s biosciences incubator

October 17, 2011


A startup company that works to make painkillers have fewer side effects has signed a deal to locate in Kansas University’s biosciences incubator.

Mencuro Therapeutics Inc. has agreed to move into the Bioscience and Technology Business Center Expansion Facility near Bob Billings Parkway and Wakarusa Drive. The company uses research developed by KU researcher Tom Prisinzano and Laura Bohn, a neuroscientist at The Scripps Research Institute in Florida. That pair teamed up with colleagues Robert Karr and Randy Weiss to launch the company earlier this year. The startup is hiring one full-time biologist immediately and plans to hire additional scientists within the next year.

The company’s focus is on how to make painkillers similar to morphine, oxycodone and hydrocodone, but without harsh side effects.

“We’re trying to take the strongest, most potent painkillers and eliminate the side effects so they’re more like Advil or Tylenol,” Prisinzano said.

Mencuro becomes the 11th tenant for the 14-month old incubator system. The incubator houses nine tenants at its main facility on West Campus and two at its expansion facility at Bob Billings and Wakarusa Drive. The incubator is a partnership among KU, the city, the county, the chamber, the local bioscience authority and the state bioscience authority. The strong amount of tenant activity has led to expansion plans for the incubator. The city has put $500,000 in its 2012 budget to kickstart an effort to build more space on West Campus. The project likely will take $7 million to $8 million to complete.


devobrun 6 years, 4 months ago

“We’re trying to take the strongest, most potent painkillers and eliminate the side effects so they’re more like Advil or Tylenol,” Prisinzano said.

I hope their security is strong and reliable. With statements like that, word will get around and crime is quick to follow.

If they succeed, look out for lawsuits, theft, over-prescription..... Wow, the chemical challenge is nothing compared to the social challenge that will follow. The sheriff and the chief of police should be the first ones in this area to know when technology breakthroughs occur. Their criminal investigations will go way up. Hey Kenny, get ready for security nightmares now.

Pain relief without complication or limitation........hahahaha.

appleaday 6 years, 4 months ago

The side effects are generally what the drug abusers want, not the drug effects. Advil and Tylenol are pain relievers but don't cause a feeling of getting "high," so they're not abused. The researchers are trying to make other, more potent pain medications that don't have these side effects.

devobrun 6 years, 4 months ago

So appleaday, the mentioned drugs are opiates. Their main effect is to make you not care that you feel pain. Of the three above, I've had oxycodone for severe, acute back pain. I had been fighting the pain for several days and I was losing the battle. When I checked my blood pressure, it was 160 over 105. The doctor prescribed Percocet. The pain didn't go away.....I just didn't care....and promptly fell asleep. Other treatments fixed my back and I only took one more dose of the drug.

Had I taken it for days, I would have had other side effects, like constipation. I think that is the kind of side effect they are addressing. How are you gonna stop the opiates from giving you the don't care attitude when that is what relieves the pain?

appleaday 6 years, 4 months ago

There are different opioid receptors in the body with different responses to opiod analgesics. Responses to activation of mu receptors include analgesia, respiratory depression, euphoria, and sedation. In addition, mu activation is related to physical dependence. Activation of kappa receptors can produce analgesia and sedation. The trick will be to develop an opioid analgesic that is selective for mu receptors.

appleaday 6 years, 4 months ago

I mean, selective for kappa receptors.

George Bures 6 years, 4 months ago

devobrun, please enlighten us, what other treatments "fixed" your back pain, I'd like to know.

Paul R Getto 6 years, 4 months ago

Good move; should be interesting research.

lunacydetector 6 years, 4 months ago

lack of paying property taxes sure can boost interest and create jobs. a double standard the no-growthers can't defend.

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