“Divine work is easing pain” according to an old proverb.

Chronic pain represents one of the most common global health problems. Current medications used to alleviate pain have either limited efficacy and/or significant adverse effects, and usually do not improve the prognosis of diseases that are typically present in patients suffering from chronic pain such as mood disorders, cognitive decline and/or cardiovascular diseases. The project ‘Multimodal control of chronic pain and comorbidities with atypical analgesics – two birds with one stone’ (Fight_PainAndComorb) will be funded by a grant that was awarded by the Science Fund of the Republic of Serbia (€165,507). The aim of the project is to assess the efficacy of a new antidepressant in reducing pain and improving the prognosis of pain-associated diseases, including depression-like behaviour and cardiovascular deterioration. The 3-year project, which began in January 2022, is led by the School of Pharmacy, University of Belgrade, and Prof Aleksandar Jovanovic from the University of Nicosia Medical School will contribute to this Project. Experiments will be carried out using an animal model of osteoarthritis, and a range of methods will be used to elucidate the efficacy of a new antidepressant in alleviating pain and treating pain-associated diseases.

It is hoped that the results of this research project will enable the identification of potential novel treatment options that are capable of concomitantly treating pain and several comorbidities, and serve as the basis for future clinical studies. If proved effective and well tolerated, new treatments could be implemented in clinical practice much faster and with considerably less investment compared to those required for the development of new drugs, as they consist of medications already approved for human use as well as widely available non-pharmacological measures.