CAMBRIDGE, Mass.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–October 26, 2015–

Hydra BiosciencesPAIN: a conversation panel discussion drew nearly 100 clinicians, scientists, patient advocates, patients, investors and biotech/pharma industry professionals Thursday to discuss the critical need for new treatment options for patients with chronic pain and the related and increasing problem of opioid dependence and addiction. The panelists emphasized that in conjunction with new treatments, better training of medical professionals in diagnosing and treating pain is critical in order to bring hope to people suffering daily, while reducing the escalating problem of opioid addiction.

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From left, Hydra Biosciences President and CEO Russell Herndon; Hydra Founder, Professor at Children ...

From left, Hydra Biosciences President and CEO Russell Herndon; Hydra Founder, Professor at Children’s Hospital Boston, Harvard Medical School and Howard Hughes Investor David Clapham, MD, PhD; Providence ABC6 Anchor Karen Meyers; Patient Pain Advocate Cindy Steinberg; Analgesic Solutions Founder and President Nathaniel Katz, MD; and former Massachusetts Department of Public Health Commissioner Cheryl Bartlett, led PAIN: a conversation on chronic pain, opioid abuse and science and innovation. (Photo: Business Wire)

The forum received praise from several attendees for its unique interdisciplinary approach to the related problems. Today, Hydra also is releasing A Conversation with Betsy Navarro, a video produced for the forum detailing one patient’s battle with severe chronic neuropathic pain.

“This cross-functional and inclusive discussion is critical for finding solutions for pain management and ultimately a cure for chronic pain,” said Russell Herndon, President and CEO of Hydra Biosciences. “We were pleased to bring together leaders from science, medicine, advocacy and public health to elevate the conversation on this important topic, but this has to be the first conversation of many. We’d like to invite others to get involved as well.”

Panelist Cindy Steinberg, National Director of Policy and Advocacy for the U.S. Pain Foundation, said, “There is a lack of understanding that chronic pain is a disease itself – a neurobiological disease that we do not understand – regardless of the original cause. There is a lack of research funding, lack of pain management education for physicians and a dearth of new treatment options. We’re still treating patients with trial and error and haven’t made any substantial progress over the last 15 years in finding effective solutions for chronic pain. I’m so pleased to have been a part of this event because it provides hope for people with chronic pain.”

The panel also included Nathaniel Katz, M.D., neurologist and pain specialist as well as founder and President of Analgesic Solutions; Cheryl Bartlett, former Commissioner of the Massachusetts Department of Public Health and current Executive Director of the Cape Cod Regional Substance Abuse Prevention Initiative and Public Health at Cape Cod Health; and David Clapham, M.D., Ph.D., founder of Hydra, Professor of Cardiology at Children’s Hospital Boston, Harvard Medical School and Howard Hughes Investigator.

Dr. Katz told the audience, “As a physician, one of the things that was hardest for me was to realize that the tools we have are just not enough, even if you use them as best you possibly can. This made me wonder, why don’t we have better treatments? And I’ve spent the second half of my career dedicated to that end.”

Bartlett said, “In my experience, physicians struggle with how to treat patients who have pain. Interdisciplinary discussions, like this panel, are important as we work to address the need to provide physicians with the right medications for the treatment of pain without the same devastating risks of addiction that can occur with opioids.”

Dr. Clapham added, “As a scientist, you don’t set out to treat pain, you spend time trying to understand the science behind how pain works. When we started Hydra, we looked at the genes involved in chronic pain and how neurons sense pain. And through that process, we discovered that the sensory system uses TRP channels. Our hope is that TRPA1 may work by preventing the signals of pain from the peripheral receptors from going to your brain.”

About Hydra Biosciences
Hydra Biosciences is a privately held biopharmaceutical company based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, that develops drugs to treat pain, inflammation, renal disease, anxiety and pulmonary disease using its expertise in novel ion channels. Hydra Biosciences’ proprietary platforms enable the company to identify and develop drug candidates that address significant unmet medical needs. More information about Hydra Biosciences is available at: www.hydrabiosciences.com. Follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn.

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