IMB Centre for Pain Research

Discovery of novel analgesics

CPR uses a broad and comprehensive panel of assays for pain targets, addressing aspects of pain initiation and transmission using state-of-the-art screening technologies. Using unique compounds and libraries derived from natural products and venoms, these technologies place our research at the cutting edge of analgesic drug discovery.


CPR uses advanced NMR and X-ray crystallographic approaches to obtain accurate three-dimensional structure of molecules and precisely position the residues contributing to affinity. This knowledge will be used to rationally optimise for target specificity, and, in parallel, will engineer out off-target liabilities to improve the therapeutic window of drug leads.

Analgesic efficacy models

CPR directly assesses analgesic efficacy of novel compounds in the pain pathway and clinically relevant disease models of pain. These approaches provide information to enable translation of our discoveries to the clinic by identifying preferred candidate molecules through to suitable patient populations, dosing routes, and strategies to minimise side effects in people living with pain.

Lead optimisation and development

Molecules showing significant analgesic efficacy in disease models of pain will be chemically modified to maximise storage and enzyme stability, ease of synthesis, and plasma half-life in vivo, without compromising therapeutic index, efficacy or safety.