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Abstract #1707

functional MRI Correlates with Self-Assessment of Pain Intensity and Reveals Effect of the Opioid Analgesic Buprenorphine on Brain Processing of Noxious Stimulation

Alexandre Coimbra1,2, Richard Baumgartner1,2, Adam Schwarz2,3, Jaymin Upadhyay2,4, Julie Anderson2,4, Jamie Knudsen2,4, James Bishop2,4, Gautam Pendse2,4, Edward George2,4, Sanjay Keswani2,3, Brigette Robertson2,5, Rudy Schrieber2,5, Smriti Iyengar2,3, Tom Large2,5, David Bleakman2,3, Richard Hargreaves1,2, Lino Becerra2,4, David Borsook2,4

1Merck Research Laboratories, West Point, PA, USA; 2Imaging Consortium for Drug Development, Belmont, MA, USA; 3Lilly Research Laboratories, IN, USA; 4P.A.I.N. Group, Brain Imaging Center, McLean Hospital, MA, USA; 5Sepracor, Marlborough, MA, USA

Recently, there has been growing interest in exploring the potential and utility of fMRI as a biomarker in drug discovery and development. Here we present results from a study of an analgesic drug Bupernorphine in healthy subjects using fMRI and painful stimuli of different noxiousness. We demonstrate that the more noxious the stimulus, the stronger the evoked brain response as measured by fMRI. Furthermore, both evoked fMRI responses to noxious stimuli and their suppression by Buprenorphine, correlate well with self-assessment of pain intensity. These results suggest that fMRI can be used as robust assay in early stage of drug development