NEW YORK, Nov. 14, 2016 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Anavex Life Sciences Corp. ("Anavex" or the "Company") (Nasdaq:AVXL) today reported encouraging preclinical efficacy for the treatment of neuropathic pain and visceral pain with their novel compound, ANAVEX 1066. The poster titled " Mixed sigma-1 / sigma-2 ligands as analgesics: studies with ANAVEX 1066 in animal models of neuropathic pain and visceral pain" was presented at the annual meeting of the Society for Neuroscience taking place from November 12-16 in San Diego, California. ANAVEX 1066 was tested in two models of neuropathic and visceral pain that have been extensively validated in rats. In the chronic constriction injury (CCI) model of neuropathic pain, a single oral administration of ANAVEX 1066 dose-dependently restored the nociceptive threshold in the affected paw to normal levels while leaving the contralateral healthy paw unchanged. Efficacy was rapid and remained significant for two hours. In a model of visceral pain, chronic colonic hypersensitivity was induced by injection of an inflammatory agent directly into the colon and a single oral administration of ANAVEX 1066 returned the nociceptive threshold to control levels in a dose-dependent manner. Companion studies in rats demonstrated the lack of any effects on normal gastrointestinal transit with ANAVEX 1066 and a favorable safety profile in a battery of behavioral measures. Christopher U. Missling, PhD, President and Chief Executive Officer of Anavex, stated, "The therapeutic potential of ANAVEX 1066 in two distinct and poorly served populations, patients with neuropathic pain and patients with visceral pain, is encouraging and we look forward to advancing the program for ANAVEX 1066." The poster presentation is available on the Publications page of Anavex's website at http://www.anavex.com/publications/. ABOUT NEUROPATHIC PAIN AND VISCERAL PAIN Neuropathic pain is caused by damage to or disease affecting the somatosensory nervous system. Neuropathic pain may be associated with a heightened response to normal pain stimuli (hyperalgesia) or pain from normally non-painful stimuli (allodynia). It may have continuous and/or episodic (paroxysmal) components, the latter resemble stabbing sensations or electric shocks. General population studies, using validated screening instruments, have estimated that 7-8% of adults currently have chronic pain with neuropathic characteristics.