Phoenix PharmaLabs Co-Founder to speak at Upcoming College on Problems of Drug Dependence (CPDD) 80th Annual Meeting in San Diego

Lawrence Toll, Ph.D., expected to describe company’s novel opioid that shows no signs of addiction potential

May 24, 2018 07:00 AM Mountain Daylight Time

SALT LAKE CITY–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Phoenix PharmaLabs, Inc. (“Phoenix”), a privately held company developing a novel opioid that appears to avoid addiction-causing inducement of euphoria common in all other opioid pain relievers, announced today that co-founder and chief neuropharmacologist Lawrence Toll, Ph.D., will speak at the upcoming CPDD 80th annual meeting in San Diego June 9-15.

Dr. Toll’s talk, “PPL-103: A kappa partial agonist with potent antinociceptive activity and low abuse potential,” will be part of the symposium “Next Generation Analgesics.” Discussion for this symposium will be led by Dr. Nora Volkow, director of the National Institutes on Drug Abuse (NIDA). This symposium is currently scheduled to take place from 3:15-5:15 p.m. (PDT), on Tuesday, June 12.

The opioid crisis continues to reach alarming levels throughout the United States. Unfortunately, virtually all opioids on the market today to treat moderate to severe pain, such as morphine, oxycodone, hydrocodone, methadone, and fentanyl, are all dangerously addictive because they bind to the mu receptor in the brain and then aggressively stimulate that receptor. While they treat pain effectively, that strong stimulation of the mu receptor induces euphoria, which leads to abuse and addiction.

Dr. Toll and Phoenix have developed PPL-103, a patented advanced analog that binds strongly to all three opioid receptors in the brain (mu, kappa and delta) and then partially stimulates 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, as numerous animal studies to date have shown.

PPL-103 has demonstrated in further animal studies that it is an orally active potent pain killer (10x stronger than morphine) that does not cause death from overdose (even at 350x dose), does not cause physical dependence or withdrawal, and does not cause constipation (even at 100x dose). It has also demonstrated potential as an opioid addiction therapy drug replacing methadone, Suboxone and buprenorphine, which are, in and of themselves, addictive opioids that addicts typically have to remain on for life. Phoenix PharmaLabs continues to conduct additional pre-clinical animal studies in preparation for entry into Phase I human clinical trials.

According to a recent report on Pain and Addiction Therapeutics by BIO (Biotechnology Innovation Organization, February 2018) there have only been two novel chemical entities approved by the FDA in the past decade to treat pain. While there is a pipeline consisting of 220 clinical-stage drug programs, with 125 testing novel chemical entities, 87% of these are for non-opioid receptors. To date there have been no other opioid compounds developed that are not addictive. Phoenix believes that PPL-103 is the only such compound in development that is close to entering the clinic that is a non-addictive opioid.

Earlier this year Dr. Toll joined the Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine as a professor in the Department of Biomedical Science, and he currently serves as an investigator in the FAU (Florida Atlantic University) Brain Institute. He is the first recruit to this program under the 21st Century World Class Scholars Program established by Florida. Prior to moving to FAU, Dr. Toll was director of the neuropharmacology program at Torrey Pines Institute for Molecular Studies. He is a founder, chief neuropharmacologist and board member of Phoenix PharmaLabs. He has published more than 130 research publications in peer-reviewed journals and serves as the associate editor of the journal Frontiers in Psychopharmacology. He also serves on the editorial board of the journal Neuropharmacology.

The College on Problems of Drug Dependence (CPDD) is the oldest and largest organization in the US dedicated to advancing a scientific approach to substance abuse and addictive disorders. CPDD actively promotes basic scientific research in all aspects of substance abuse and facilitates the sharing of knowledge and new discoveries among scientists of diverse backgrounds, both nationally and internationally. The College also encourages the application of scientific knowledge to developing new behavioral and pharmacological treatment therapies through collaboration among academia, private industry, and government agencies, helping to shape sensible and effective public policy at local, state and national levels. A key part of CPDD’s mission is to provide policymakers and media with accurate, science-based position statements on matters of drug policy.

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 opiate addiction.


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