Nektar Therapeutics has announced that it is withdrawing the application for its opioid painkiller for adults with chronic low back pain, after an FDA panel unanimously voted against the drug’s approval. Independent advisers to the U.S. FDA voted 27-0 against the approval of the oral pill, NKTR-181, on concerns over the chances of its misuse or abuse as well as the lack of data to determine the possible abuse when snorted or injected and its potential for liver toxicity. By reducing the rate at which the drug enters the brain, Nektar had aimed to relieve pain without triggering the euphoric effect of opioids that could lead to abuse and addiction. Learn More