All times are shown in EDT*

7:30 am Preconference Virtual Networking

8:00 am Chair’s Opening Remarks

Optimizing Medicinal Chemistry, Safety & Efficacy of Ion Channel Modulators to Treat & Manage Neuropathic Pain

8:30 am HCN2 Ion Channels: Critical Drivers of Pain


  •  HCN2 ion channels are “pacemaker” channels that can drive repetitive activity in pain-sensitive nerves and thus cause pain
  • Block or genetic deletion of HCN2 gives complete analgesia, and is effective in animal models of a wide range of pain conditions
  • A key objective in generating practical analgesics is achieving selectivity over HCN4 ion channels that drive the heart rate

9:00 am Efficacy & Tolerability of a Topical High Concentration Capsaicin (TRPV1 Agonist) in PHN & PDPN of the Feet


  • In clinical trials most common ARs were application site reactions
  • Sharing statistically significant improvements in pain relief in patients with PDPN and PHN
  • Feedback on clinical trial results: It was well tolerated and was not associated with any negative functional or neurological safety consequences

9:30 am Stimuli-Selective Antibodies Against hTRPV1 – Targeting Pain

  • Daniela Papadia Head of Discovery & Preclinical R&D - Ion Channel Targets in Pain, Oblique Therapeutics


  • Sharing insights from the AbiProt antibody platform to develop functional antibodies targeting ion channels
  • Maximizing pain relief through inhibition of TRPV1 channel with mAbs
  • Circumventing side effects associated with previous small molecule antagonists

10:00 am Akelos Inc. – A Compelling Drug Discovery for Chronic Pain


  • Using HCN1 small molecule inhibitors to help 500 million people world-wide
  • Capitalizing on the 8 billion per year market opportunity
  • Solving the opioid crisis

10:30 am Virtual Speed Networking & Break

Novel Small Molecule Approaches for Pain & Peripheral Neuropathy

11:00 am HDAC6 Inhibition: A Novel Therapeutic Target for Peripheral Neuropathy & Pain


  • HDAC6 activity has an important role in regulating the intraneuronal environment of peripheral nerves
  • In preclinical models of several different neuropathies, inhibition of HDAC6 can prevent and reverse signs of nerve dysfunction
  • The discovery of the selective HDAC6 inhibitor ricolinostat is enabling clinical testing of HDAC6 inhibition as a treatment for neuropathic pain

Showcasing Gene Therapy Approaches to Treat & Manage Neuropathic Pain

11:30 am Epigenetic Repression of Nav1.7 to Treat Chronic Pain & Tackle the Opioid Epidemic

  • Fernando Aleman Co-Founder & Chief Scientific Officer, Navega Therapeutics


  • DNA-level epigenetic repression of key genes responsible for pain transmission holds great therapeutic potential
  • Highlighting the selectivity and specificity of this approach
  • Discussing the long-lasting nature of this gene therapy approach
  • Challenges and how to overcome them

12:00 pm Chemogenetics-Based Tunable Gene Therapy for Neuropathic Pain

  • Annahita Keravala Senior Vice President, Head of Gene Therapy, CODA Biotherapeutics


  • Engineered receptors expressed specifically in target cells by AAV-mediated gene transfer
  • Receptors only responsive to proprietary small-molecule drug
  • Receptor expression is durable and activity is tunable

12:30 pm Lunch Networking Break

Exploring Cannabinoid-Based Pharmaceuticals as Therapeutics for Treating & Managing Neuropathic Pain

1:30 pm Pain & Opioids – How are Cannabinoids Playing a Role in Both Pain Relief & Addiction?

  • Aurelia de Pauw Sr Vice President, Clinical Programs / Medical Affairs, Tetra Bio-Pharma


  • Analyzing recent clinical data to illustrate the potential of cannabinoids in pain relief
  • Discussing the challenge of oral cannabinoid formulations for pain relief
  • Understanding the potential role cannabinoids could play in curbing addiction

2:00 pm Effectiveness & Mechanisms of Non-Psychoactive Cannabis- Based Treatment for Neuropathic Pain

  • Sara Jane Ward Assistant Professor of Pharmacology, Temple University Lewis Katz School of Medicine


  • Minor cannabinoids and terpenes derived from Cannabis, such as cannabidiol and beta-caryophyllene, represent safe and effective potential therapeutics for the treatment of neuropathic pain
  • Based on our preclinical research, more clinical testing of CBD and other Cannabis constituents is warranted to determine their safety and effectiveness in humans
  • Synthetic analogues of CBD, such as KLS-13019, may provide safer, moreeffective, and more targeted treatment for neuropathic pain

Exploring the Role of Medical Devices Along the Neuropathic Pain Patient Continuum of Care

2:30 pm Surfing the Electrode Spectrum: Choosing the Right Interface for Electrical Nerve Block

  • Tina Vrabec Assistant Research Professor, MetroHealth Medical Center & Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine


  • Characteristics of electrical nerve block
  • Emerging electrode materials and methods
  • Use of novel waveforms to customize nerve block properties

3:00 pm Afternoon Networking Break

3:30 pm Spinal Cord Stimulation: How it Works for Chronic Pain & When to Use It

  • Eric Grigsby President & Chief Executive Officer, Neurovations


  •  Spinal cord stimulation mechanisms of action
  • Overview of current and emerging therapeutic options
  • Understanding how these devices factor into the treatment algorithm for clinicians treating persons with chronic pain

Discussing Collaborative Opportunities for Industry & Academia to Engage in to Advance Neuropathic Pain Drug Development Efforts

4:00 pm Therapy Development Programs: Enhancing Pain Management Within the NIH HEAL Initiative

  • Smriti Iyengar Director - Preclinical Screening Platform for Pain & Program Director, National Institute on Neurological Disorders & Stroke/ NIH


  • Accelerating the discovery and development of non-opioid, non-addictive therapeutics
  • Preclinical and clinical therapy development programs in NINDS
  • Sharing opportunities for academic and industry asset owners worldwide

4:30 pm Chair’s Closing Remarks & End of Conference