The study showed that patients receiving 8 mg of VM202 per leg improved the most in all efficacy measures, including a significant reduction at 3 months in the mean pain score. The reductions in pain continued but were not statistically significant at 6 and 9 months.

“We would probably inject patients four times a year. If it turns out that we are actually making the neuropathy better, then it is reason to think patients would graduate from this, but if it turns out we are just treating the symptoms and not the disease, then we would see injecting the patients four times a year,” Kessler said in an interview with Endocrinology Advisor

The mean age of the patients in this study was 60 years (approximately 75% men), and the mean duration of diabetes was 15 to 16 years.

The researchers found that 48% of the patients experienced at least a 50% reduction in pain in the treated group compared with 17% in the placebo group. The study also demonstrated significant improvements in the brief pain inventory and the questionnaire portion of the Michigan Neuropathy Screening Instrument.  

The researchers noted that the largest reductions in pain were found among patients not on pregabalin or gabapentin.

There were no significant adverse events attributable to VM202 and this treatment was deemed safe and well tolerated.

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It is hoped that VM202, which contains a human hepatocyte growth factor gene, will increase the local production of hepatocyte growth factor to help regenerate nerves and grow new blood vessels and subsequently reduce the pain.

This article originally appeared on Endocrinology Advisor