Discovery of a Multifunctional Ligand for Pain Relief

Technology #ua15-050

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Victor Hruby
Regents Professor Emeritus, Chemistry & Biochemistry
Aswini Giri
Assistant Research Scientist, Chemistry & Biochemistry
Managed By
Laura Silva


This technology is the discovery of a potent ligand, AKG177, with a balanced agonist activity with the two opioid receptors and antagonist activity at the neurokinin 1 receptor. The N-terminus was modified with an amino acid at the address region, enhancing receptor activity while binding to neurokinin 1. The blocking of the neurokinin 1 receptor can manage opioid tolerance, but studies show effectiveness is still retained when compared to morphine.


Pain is mediated through receptors for opioid drugs. Neurokinin 1 is the receptor for substance P, which is responsible for escalating pain and an important factor in opioid-induced hyperalgesia. Hyperalgesia is the increased sensitivity of pain. Marketed as a novel drug for pain management or to interested drug companies


  • The invention has an advantage over current opioids by avoiding tolerance and opioid-induced hyperalgesia.


  • Techniques and certain modifications may be useful to drug companies in order to improve tolerance for their existing opioid products.
  • Pharmaceutical companies looking to improve the side effects of their existing opioids.


Aswini Giri

Victor Hruby

Licensing Manager:

Laura Silva

(520) 626-1557