Bupivacaine and meloxicam (HTX-011) in a fixed-dose combination is in development for the management of post-operative pain. Post-operative pain is a typical example of acute pain. Acute pain typically lasts for less than 3-6 months (unlike chronic pain which carries on for longer than 12 weeks), and is provoked by identifiable stimuli and disappears as soon as the tissue injury or damage that had caused it is healed. All surgical procedures are associated with a certain level of post-operative pain. Opioids are often used to manage post-operative pain but carry the risk of harmful side effects, abuse and addiction.
In HTX-011, the inclusion of low-dose meloxicam reduces local inflammation and reverses the acidic environment caused by surgery, allowing enhanced penetration of bupivacaine (a local anaesthetic) into the nerves and thereby increasing its effect. HTX-011 is in development for application into the surgical site and early studies have shown its potential to reduce severe post-operative pain and the need for opioid analgesics for up to 72 hours. If licensed, HTX-011 may offer an additional treatment option for the management of post-operative pain with a potential to reduce the need for opioids.
Liposomal bupivacaine is in late-stage clinical development for the treatment of postoperative pain in adults. Post-operative pain is a common occurrence for those patients who have surgery. Controlling post-operative pain is important for ensuring a good patient experience, optimising post-operative outcomes and enhancing recovering, and the prevention of chronic postsurgical pain in the longer term.