Roanoke Based Chorda Pharma Partners With Carilion Clinic for Emerging Pain Treatments

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Chorda Pharma, a Roanoke based pharmaceuticals company, is partnering with Carilion Clinic to develop, test, and market non-opioid medications to treat chronic pain.

Chorda Pharma was founded by Rick Carliss, Ph.D., to address the growing incidence of arthritis, diabetic neuropathy, sports injuries and other ailments among individuals requiring long-term treatment to relieve pain. Arthritis is the number one cause of disability in America, with more than 54 million people afflicted.

Common prescription medications such as corticosteroids and over the counter (OTC) treatments, including non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and acetaminophen, are not considered safe for long-term treatment of pain. Chorda Pharma’s first analgesic medication is an OTC topical cream. Clinical trials will be performed at Carilion Clinic to demonstrate the tolerability of the proprietary drug. Pending successful results, the drug will enter the market in early 2022.

Finding safe alternatives to traditional OTC and prescription-based pain relievers, like opioids, is an industry priority. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, addiction to opioid pain relievers has contributed to a national public health emergency, with 10 million patients misusing prescription opioids in the past year and over 70,000 drug overdose deaths.

“Chorda’s partnership with Carilion is an important milestone, allowing us to leverage Carilion’s considerable expertise in research, clinical care and the health care industry,” said Dr. Carliss. “Our topical medication contains an active ingredient recognized by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration as safe and effective. We believe that it will fill a gap that currently exists between prescription and other OTC pain relievers. We look forward to working with Carilion’s leadership to develop commercial opportunities for non-opioid pain medications.”

“Carilion’s partnership with Chorda Pharma shows our commitment to investing in and collaborating with local, small businesses offering innovations that improve the quality of care,” said Carilion President and CEO Nancy Howell Agee. “Opportunities like this with Chorda demonstrate how our regional efforts to nurture and grow small health science companies are coming to fruition.”