Cara Therapeutics (NASDAQ: CARA) stock just set an all-time record high. And it did so in a spectacular fashion, jumping nearly 40% in five days after Cara announced encouraging feedback from its independent data monitoring committee’s interim assessment of a late-stage study evaluating intravenous CR845 in treating post-operative pain.
Some investors might prefer to lock in gains after Cara Therapeutics’ tremendous stock performance. However, it seems quite possible that the stock could go even higher.
You don’t have to search long to find hundreds of news stories about the opioid epidemic sweeping the U.S. Over 50,000 Americans died from opioid overdoses in 2016. States and local governments face tremendous financial challenges in dealing with the added healthcare and law enforcement costs related to opioid abuse.
The problem is that opioid drugs are highly addictive, but they’re also highly effective at helping patients cope with pain. Physicians continue to prescribe the drugs in large part because there simply aren’t better treatment alternatives. It’s a major crisis in need of a solution. Cara Therapeutics just might have one.
The types of opioids that are contributing to all the negative headlines bind to mu opioid receptors in the body’s central nervous system. They reduce pain, but they also enter the brain and are very addictive. Cara’s CR845 is also an opioid painkiller. However, it’s a much different kind of opioid.
CR845 activates peripheral kappa opioid receptors on sensory nerves. The drug helps alleviate pain like other opioids. However, CR845 doesn’t enter the brain. As a result, it doesn’t have nearly as significant of a risk for addiction that mu opioid drugs such as hydrocodone and oxycodone have.
Cara Therapeutics has benefited this year from several…