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Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Attending the Meeting were the five co-chairs of the Pain Consortium and numerous Program Staff and several guests.

Wen Chen, NIA, presented updated guidelines issued by the American Geriatrics Society for pain treatment in patients 75 years and older. The new guidelines recommend against the use of NSAIDS and encourage physicians to consider opioids for elderly patients with chronic pain. Discussion centered on the benefits and risks of opioid treatment in the elderly and how the PC might contribute to this issue. Program Staff interested in pursuing this topic were encouraged to contact Wen Chen directly in order to establish a working group for planning next steps.

Mike Iadarola, NIDCR Intramural Program provided a scientific presentation on a very recent clinical intervention for chronic pain. He provided background information on resiniferatoxin and its potential use in treating intractable pain. He showed initial results from a patient treated with this compound. Dr. Tabak noted the importance of collaborations across NIH that were necessary to develop and carry out these initial studies.

John Kusiak, NIDCR, provided an update on the progress on the NIH Neuroscience Blueprint Grand Challenge on Pain. A competitive revision (supplement) FOA was recently released with receipt date on November 23. This FOA will encourage the submission of applications for a new specific aim or pilot project on an existing NIH pain or neuroplasticity grant. These are one year projects that will bring new expertise into the pain field and lead to larger multi-PI grant applications in the future. An RFP will be issued shortly for the development of a hands-on training course in models and measures in neuropathic pain research.

John Kusiak, NIDCR, provided an update on a NIDCR-sponsored workshop held in June on "Genetics of Temporomandibular Joint Disorder and Comorbid Chronic Pain Conditions: Current Status and Next Steps". The goals of the workshop were to: 1) provide a comprehensive idea of the resources currently or imminently available for conducting genetic studies on TMJDs and related conditions; 2) reach a broad understanding of the best pain phenotypes and measures useful for genetic studies; and 3) provide NIDCR staff with a prioritized set of recommendations for advancing research on the genetics of TMJDs. A draft report of the meeting is currently being reviewed by participants prior to submission Dr. Tabak, Director NIDCR.

Linda Porter, NINDS, provided an update on the NIH Transformative R01 program, which included a highlighted area on pain research. Over 750 applications were received, (over 50 of these were pain-related) and after an initial round of reviews by content experts, approximately 100 applications were reviewed in a second stage. Of these, three were pain-related. Forty-two grants, two of which were focused on pain research, were ultimately funded.

Linda Porter, NINDS, presented a proposal being developed for biomarkers of pain and analgesic response through the Biomarkers Consortium of the Foundation for NIH. Judy Siuciak from the Foundation for the NIH provided background on the fNIH.

Bob Rapapport, FDA, provided information on ACTION, Analgesic Clinical Trial Innovations, Opportunities and Networks: an FDA Critical Path public-private partnership. This is a program to facilitate the development of analgesic drugs and would entail re-analysis and transformation of existing clinical trial data in order to create new clinical trial designs that help expedite development of effective analgesics with less toxicity. This effort would consist of partners in academic centers and the private sector with the participation of NIH in an executive committee and in review of applications for these studies. It is hoped that this effort will provide a scientific foundation for new drug development programs for analgesic drugs.