Botulinum neurotoxins are highly effective therapeutic products. Their therapeutic success results from highly specific and potent inhibition of neurotransmitter release with a duration of action measured in months. These same properties, however, make the botulinum neurotoxins the most potent acute lethal toxins known. Their toxicity and restricted target cell activity severely limits their clinical utility. Understanding the structure-function relationship of the neurotoxins has enabled the development of recombinant proteins selectively incorporating specific aspects of their pharmacology. The resulting proteins are not neurotoxins, but a new class of biopharmaceuticals, Targeted Secretion Inhibitors (TSI), suitable for the treatment of a wide range of diseases where secretion plays a major role. TSI proteins inhibit secretion for a prolonged period following a single application, making them particularly suited to the treatment of chronic diseases. A TSI for the treatment of chronic pain is in clinical development
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