KemPharm is planning to initiate the development of KP511, an oral prodrug of hydromorphone that is used to manage pain in patients where an opioid analgesic is appropriate.

The drug candidate, which was identified using the Ligand Activated Therapy (LAT) approach, is the second product in the company’s pain therapy range.

KP511 has demonstrated superior pharmacological characteristics, an improved safety profile and reduced symptoms of constipation, and has limited abuse potential in preclinical studies.

The drug candidate also has tamper-resistant properties, the company said.

KemPharm CEO Travis Mickle said the company aims to develop prescription options to enable physicians to treat pain without the liabilities of drug abuse and diversion or the negative side effect of constipation, which is typically associated with opioids.