SMi proudly present their 12th annual Pain Therapeutics conference

Make sure you have the information necessary to face the mounting challenges in taking your novel pain therapeutics from development to registration

Pain is the most common reason patients seek medical care and has significant has sensory and emotional components.
Despite this advances in the way we manage pain has made few significant advancements and in recent years it has become harder and harder to get analgesics to market.

With the whole industry under financial pressure there is an economic imperative for companies to improve their research and development methods. In order to make sure that the drugs that are being put forward for clinical trials have the best chance of success.

At this Pain Therapeutics Conference 2012 you will hear from industry experts discussing the latest advances in drug development practice and analyzing recent case studies of where drugs in the clinical stages have succeeded and failed. As well as talking an in depth look at the recent work on current drug targets such as the TRPV family, the Canibanoid family and Nerve Growth Factor.


Evaluate recent advances in experimental pain models and translational techniques
Discuss the current topics in CNS clinical trials
Develop strategies to improve the chance of success for your candidate drugs
Discover how epigenetics can help in the elucidation of new targets
Learn about the current targets in pain drug development and their potential for new therapies
Network with key industry associates and solution providers to share valuable experiences


Heads of Department, Directors, Managers, Team Leaders Researchers and Scientists from:

  • Pain and inflammation target discovery
  • Analgesic preclinical development
  • CNS clinical trials
  • Translational imaging
  • Early phase CNS research
  • Epigenetics in pain and inflammation
  • Chronic and neuropathic pain
  • Clinical trial design
  • Biomarker development
  • Personalised medicine
  • Pain management



Delegates at our 2011 Pain Therapeutics conference came from across the world...
Join the wide range of high-level delegates at our event in 2012...



Conference programme

8:30 Registration & Coffee

9:00 Chairman's Opening Remarks

Chas Bountra

Chas Bountra, Chief Scientist, Structural Genomics Consortium, University of Oxford

9:10 Is a greater emphasis on experimental models needed for the success of analgesic development?

Chas Bountra

Chas Bountra, Chief Scientist, Structural Genomics Consortium, University of Oxford

  • The problems with the current reliance on animal models
  • How does our understanding of experimental pain models need to improve?
  • The issues that experimental models present.
  • 9:50 How to improve success in pain therapeutics development

    Jonathan Stewart

    Jonathan Stewart, Honorary Consultant Pain Medicine, St Mary's Hospital

  • Setting realistic endpoints in order to give your drug the best chance
  • Issues with the double blind placebo approach.
  • Case studies of success and failures in recent years
  • 10:30 Morning Coffee

    11:00 Subject selection based on symptomatic presentation

    Ralf Baron

    Ralf Baron, Director of Pain Research and Therapy, Schleswig-Holstein

  • Differentiation of treatment for patients based on their sensory profile
  • Selecting subjects with specific profiles for proof of concept
  • 11:40 How important is the influence of gender in translational research in pain? An example of opioid treatment in a recent early phase clinical trial

    Andreas Scholz

    Andreas Scholz, Clinical Expert, Grünenthal


  • Variations in potency of pain treatment strategies, a case study of morphine treatment in male and female animals.
  • How differing gender responses cause conflicting data
  • An early phase trial in morphine slow release (SR) used as an active control in painful diabetic poly-neuropathy (DPN) analyzed this gender difference and its influence on the trial outcome
  • The gender difference in efficacy of a fixed dose of morphine SR in DPN showed females are more responsible to morphine as males.
  • A summary of considerations when designing clinical trials in pain indications
  • 12:20 Networking Lunch

    13:30 A new pig model of post-operative pain for assessment of analgesic effects of various local treatment strategies

    Sigal Melin

    Sigal Melin, Director of Neurology Discovery Services, MD Biosciences

  • Pig skin shares anatomical and physiological characteristics with human skin
  • Pigs are highly responsive to Von Frey filaments, which is also used to assess tactile response in humans
  • Pain lasts for 7-14 days (depending on muscle involvement)
  • Evaluate not only the level of analgesic affect but duration of analgesia
  • Monitor wound closure, healing and inflammation at the site
  • Used to assess efficacy of injectables, devices, creams, sutures, implants, patches
  • 14:10 Human Translational Experimental Pain Models in early development of analgesic compounds

    Lars Arendt Nielsen

    Lars Arendt Nielsen, Director, Aalborg University

  • Do experimental models really serve the function that they are intended for?
  • Attributes of the currently used models and which is best
  • How well do these experimental models translate?
  • 14:50 Afternoon Tea

    15:20 The role of fMRI in analgesic development

    Jaymin Upadhyay

    Jaymin Upadhyay, Senior Scientist II Translational Sciences, Abbott Laboratories

  • Functional imaging (phMRI, evoked pain fMRI and functional connectivity) as a de-risking tool in early phase clinical trials
  • Functional imaging as a means to compare centrally acting drugs.
  • How functional imaging can help characterize chronic pain conditions, prove engagement of MOA and aid in dose selection for clinical trials.
  • 16:00 Case Study: Phase 3 trial of Exparel for prolonged post operative analgesia

    Gary Patou

    Gary Patou, Chief Medical Officer, Pacira Pharmaceuticals Inc

  • Overview of Exparel and its mode of action
  • Discussion of the trial and the methods used
  • Analysis of issues that arose during phase 2 and how they influenced phase 3 design
  • 16:40 Chairman’s Closing Remarks and Close of Day One

    8:30 Registration & Coffee

    9:00 Chairman's Opening Remarks

    Philip Kym

    Philip Kym, Associate Director II, Pain Discovery Research, Abbott Laboratories

    9:10 Epigenetics in inflammation and beyond

    Jason  Witherington

    Jason Witherington, Head of Chemistry, GlaxoSmithKline

  • Introduction to Epigenetics
  • Discovery of small molecule bromodomain inhibitors
  • Unlocking the therapeutic potential of the bromodomain family
  • Therapeutic potential of iBET inhibitors in inflammation and beyond
  • 9:50 Developing biologics for the treatment of pain

    Dave Shelton

    Dave Shelton, Senior Director, Pfizer Global Research & Development

  • What are the differences between clinical development of biologics and of small molecules?
  • How can one proceed in order to minimize the hurdles and maximize any benefits of these differences?
  • Recent work on NGF as a target for pain therapy
  • 10:30 Morning Coffee

    11:00 Discovery of differentiated TRPV1 antagonists that separate efficacy from hyperthermic effects

    Philip Kym

    Philip Kym, Associate Director II, Pain Discovery Research, Abbott Laboratories

  • Identifying a new generation of modality-specific TRPV1 antagonists
  • The difficulties of providing clinical proof of concept for TRPV1
  • Unanswered questions on temperature neutral TRPV-1
  • Prospects for TRPV1 antagonists for pain
  • 11:40 Imaging pain and the brain’s therapeutic response

    Anthony Kenneth Peter Jones

    Anthony Kenneth Peter Jones, Professor of Neuro-Rheumatology, University of Manchester

  •  What is the division of function within the pain matrix?
  • What can functional brain imaging tell us about pain phenotypes?
  • How are descending control mechanisms in the brain engaged during pain therapy?


  • 12:20 Networking Lunch

    13:40 Case Study: Current work in ion channel blockers by Convergence

    Valerrie Morisset

    Valerrie Morisset, Head of Electrophysiology, Convergence Pharmaceuticals

  • A look at the current work being under taken in ion channel research in pain
  • An overview of some small molecule blockers of Nav1.7 and Cav2.2 and their current state in clinical trials
  • Challenges of developing a first in class small molecule ion channel blocker
  • 14:20 VGF as a key molecule in pain pathways

    Kenji Okuse

    Kenji Okuse, Senior Lecturer, Imperial College London


  • How VGF-derived neuropeptide TLQP-21 stimulates spinal microglia and macrophage cells
  • The up- and down-regulation of certain cytokine genes showed
  • Application of a neutralising antibody against VGF-R:  a reduction in the number of macrophage cells responding to TLQP-21
  • A VGF-R knockdown by siRNA showed a decrease of cell responsiveness to TLQP-21 in macrophage
  • How the study could potentially lead to new perspectives and targets for therapeutic pain management
  • 15:00 Translating visceral pain

    David Bulmer

    David Bulmer, Lecturer, Queen Mary College, Univeristy of London


  • Overview of visceral pain       
  • Previous approaches to visceral pain: success vs failure?  
  • How do we translate visceral pain?   
  • Human tissue studies / target selection
  • 15:40 Chairman’s Closing Remarks and Close of Day Two

    15:50 Afternoon Tea


    Copthorne Tara Hotel

    Scarsdale Place
    London W8 5SR
    United Kingdom

    Copthorne Tara Hotel

    The Copthorne Tara Hotel London Kensington is an elegant contemporary four-star hotel in prestigious Kensington, located just a two minutes walk from High Street Kensington underground station, making exploring easy. The hotel offers well-appointed and comfortable guest rooms combining Standard, Superior and Club accommodation. Club rooms offer iconic views over the city and include Club Lounge access for complimentary breakfast and refreshments. Guests can sample the authentic Singaporean, Malaysian and Chinese cuisine at Bugis Street, traditional pub fare at the Brasserie Restaurant & Bar or relax with a delicious drink at West8 Cocktail Lounge & Bar.

    The Copthorne Tara Hotel boasts 745 square meters of flexible meeting space, consisting of the Shannon Suite and the Liffey Suite, ideal for hosting conferences, weddings and social events. Facilities include access to the business centre 24 hours a day, fully equipped fitness room, gift shop, theatre desk and Bureau de Change. With ample onsite parking outside the London congestion charge zone and excellent transport links via Heathrow Airport, the hotel is the perfect location for business or leisure stays. The hotel is within close proximity to the shops of High Street Kensington, Knightsbridge and Westfield London, Olympia Conference Centre, Royal Albert Hall, Kensington Palace and Hyde Park.




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    CPD stands for Continuing Professional Development’. It is essentially a philosophy, which maintains that in order to be effective, learning should be organised and structured. The most common definition is:

    ‘A commitment to structured skills and knowledge enhancement for Personal or Professional competence’

    CPD is a common requirement of individual membership with professional bodies and Institutes. Increasingly, employers also expect their staff to undertake regular CPD activities.

    Undertaken over a period of time, CPD ensures that educational qualifications do not become obsolete, and allows for best practice and professional standards to be upheld.

    CPD can be undertaken through a variety of learning activities including instructor led training courses, seminars and conferences, e:learning modules or structured reading.


    There are approximately 470 institutes in the UK across all industry sectors, with a collective membership of circa 4 million professionals, and they all expect their members to undertake CPD.

    For some institutes undertaking CPD is mandatory e.g. accountancy and law, and linked to a licence to practice, for others it’s obligatory. By ensuring that their members undertake CPD, the professional bodies seek to ensure that professional standards, legislative awareness and ethical practices are maintained.

    CPD Schemes often run over the period of a year and the institutes generally provide online tools for their members to record and reflect on their CPD activities.


    Professional bodies and Institutes CPD schemes are either structured as ‘Input’ or ‘Output’ based.

    ‘Input’ based schemes list a precise number of CPD hours that individuals must achieve within a given time period. These schemes can also use different ‘currencies’ such as points, merits, units or credits, where an individual must accumulate the number required. These currencies are usually based on time i.e. 1 CPD point = 1 hour of learning.

    ‘Output’ based schemes are learner centred. They require individuals to set learning goals that align to professional competencies, or personal development objectives. These schemes also list different ways to achieve the learning goals e.g. training courses, seminars or e:learning, which enables an individual to complete their CPD through their preferred mode of learning.

    The majority of Input and Output based schemes actively encourage individuals to seek appropriate CPD activities independently.

    As a formal provider of CPD certified activities, SMI Group can provide an indication of the learning benefit gained and the typical completion. However, it is ultimately the responsibility of the delegate to evaluate their learning, and record it correctly in line with their professional body’s or employers requirements.


    Increasingly, international and emerging markets are ‘professionalising’ their workforces and looking to the UK to benchmark educational standards. The undertaking of CPD is now increasingly expected of any individual employed within today’s global marketplace.

    CPD Certificates

    We can provide a certificate for all our accredited events. To request a CPD certificate for a conference , workshop, master classes you have attended please email events@smi-online.co.uk

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