Phoenix PharmaLabs Awarded $2.7 Million Research Grant from DOD/USAMRAA for Further Development of Non-Addictive Opioid

Phoenix PharmaLabs, a privately-held pre-clinical drug discovery company dedicated to the development of potent, non-addictive treatment for pain and treatments for addiction, has been awarded a $2.7 million grant from the Department of Defense/US Army Medical Research Acquisition Activity. The grant, for the project titled: Pre-IND Development of PPL-103: A potent Opioid Analgesic that is Safe, Non-Addicting, and Free of Other Dangerous Opioid Side Effects, will be used to complete these pre-clinical studies. PPL-103 is the patented lead compound under development at Phoenix. An IND filing with the FDA is required to commence human clinical trials and the company expects to file this within 18 months.

All opioids on the market today bind to the mu receptor in the brain and then aggressively stimulate that receptor. The mu receptor produces euphoria that leads to abuse and addiction. Phoenixs drug, PPL-103, is a patented analog that binds strongly to all three opioid receptors in the brain (mu, kappa and delta) and then just partially stimulates each of those receptors in a more balanced manner. This partial stimulation derives potent analgesic benefit from all three receptors but is not sufficiently strong to produce the serious opioid side-effects associated with any single receptor. This results in a first-ever opiate analgesic that appears to be non-addicting and free of all significant dangerous side effects.

Further, in several published and unpublished in vivo studies conducted to date, it has been shown that PPL-103 is:

  • An orally active potent pain killer (10x more potent than morphine)
  • Does not cause death from overdose (even when given at 350x dose)
  • Does not cause physical dependence or withdrawal
  • Does not cause constipation (even at 100X dose)
  • Has demonstrated potential as an opioid addiction therapy drug replacing currently used treatments that are themselves addictive opioids.

The U.S. Army Medical Research Acquisition Activity, 8720 Chandler Street, Fort Detrick, MD 21702-5014 is the awarding and administering office. This work was supported by the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs, through the FY 17 Broad Agency Announcement under Award No. W8XWH-17-R-BAA1. Options, interpretations, conclusions and recommendations are those of the author and are not necessarily endorsed by the Department of Defense. In conducting research using animals, the investigator(s) adheres to the laws of the United States and regulations of the Department of Agriculture. In the conduct of research involving hazardous organisms or toxins, the investigator adhered to the CDC-NIH Guide for Biosafety in Microbiological and Biomedical Laboratories.

Phoenix recently announced a grant from NIH/NIDA to study PPL-103 for its potential use as a treatment for cocaine addiction.


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Phoenix PharmaLabs ( is a privately held, preclinical drug discovery company focused on the development and commercialization of new potent, non-addictive treatments for pain and new therapies for the treatment of addiction.

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