Vertex announced positive results from its Phase 2 dose-ranging study of VX-548 in people with painful diabetic peripheral neuropathy (DPN). VX-548 is an investigational oral, selective NaV1.8 inhibitor that is highly selective for NaV1.8 relative to other NaV channels. NaV1.8 is a voltage-gated sodium channel that plays a critical role in pain signaling in the peripheral nervous system. NaV1.8 is a genetically validated target for the treatment of pain. Vertex's strategy is to develop new drug types by selectively inhibiting NaV1.8. Compared to opioid drugs, they may provide better analgesic effects while avoiding side effects such as addiction. VX-548 has been granted Breakthrough Therapy and Fast Track designations in the U.S. for moderate to severe acute pain.