WVU to conduct clinical trial of non-opioid treatment for Sciatica

The Clonidine Micropellet, shown next to a dime, is implanted in a patient's lower back to combat Sciatica pain for up to one year. (Photo: Sollis Corp.)
By  | 

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (WDTV) - West Virginia University is the first U.S. location to conduct a clinical trial for a non-opioid mediation to treat Sciatica.

The Clonidine Micropellet is a tiny, non-opioid, non-steroid medication implanted into the patients back and aiming to combat chronic pain caused by the condition for up to a year.

WVU has become the first location to test the micropellet in a randomized phase III clinical trial, with a patient getting the implant Thursday afternoon.

According to the university, over 5 million people in the United States are affected by sciatica--pressure on the sciatic nerve causing chronic pain in the back and into one or both legs.

Dr. Ali Rezai, executive chair of the Rockefeller Neuroscience Institute, said,

“Innovative technologies that act directly at a target location like this micropellet are crucial to reducing the need for systemic medications and opioids for chronic pain. Our hope is that we can look back on this day and say we made a significant advance in the ongoing efforts to treat chronic pain and combat the opioid crisis.”

Dr. Gregory Fiore, president and CEO of Sollis Therapeutics, said,

“Knowing that even a single day of opioid usage is associated with a probability that the patient will be taking opioids a year later underscores the need for innovations like ours to impact the opioid crisis. We are pleased to team up with the researchers at the WVU RNI and other sites nationwide.”

WVU is looking for more patients to participate in the trial. If you or a family may be eligible, you can call 304.293.6780 or email ADPUGH@hsc.wvu.edu.