Dr. Seth Lederman, physician, scientist and entrepeneur for specialty pharmaceuticals , is on a mission to improve the quality of life of people suffering from chronic pain and other symptoms associated with primary fibromyalgia.
Lederman, co-founder and CEO of TONIX, a specialty pharmaceutical company headquartered in New York City, is working on a drug he says is a “game-changer” for people with fibromyalgia, a disorder characterized by widespread musculoskeletal pain accompanied by fatigue, sleep, memory and mood issues.
Fibromyalgia amplifies painful sensations at 18 tender points by affecting the way your brain processes pain signals.
Five million Americans, 90 percent of them women, currently suffer from fibromyalgia, according to the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS), part of the National Institutes of Health.
However, Dr. Lederman said in an interview, only about 2.7 million cases are diagnosed, meaning millions of others who have the condition might not know it, or they are suffering without a formal diagnosis.
Fibromyalgia symptoms can start as early as adolescence in either sex but tend to occur most often in adult females. Typically, symptoms progress with age, worsening in your 40s and 50s.
About 90 percent of fibromyalgia patients suffer from sleep issues. Specifically, they don’t wake up in the mornings refreshed. Evidence shows when restorative sleep is improved for fibromyalgia suffers, other debilitating symptoms associated with the condition also improve.
The converse is also true, Lederman said. Sleep deprivation worsens symptoms.
“For me, it was frustrating that the medical community believes fibromyalgia and fibromyalgia drugs are somehow lifestyle drugs. I don’t think of it that way at all,” said Lederman.
“I think they are nearly as important as life-saving drugs because fibromyalgia can take over the life of someone affected by it.