Early Phase Pain Investigation Clinical Network (EPPIC-Net)


Early Phase Pain Investigation Clinical Network (EPPIC-Net) seeks toenhance the treatment of acute and chronic pain and reduce reliance on opioids by accelerating early phase clinical trials of non-addictive pain therapeutics, including drugs and devices. 

EPPIC-Net will:

  • Test new pain treatments(e.g. small molecules, biologics and/or devices) with Go/No-Go criteria in early-stage trials to move toward efficacy trials for regulatory approval.
  • Provide proof-of-conceptclinical testing of potential biomarkers and new treatments, to help identify specific pathways or mechanisms that holds promise for future therapeutic development.
  • Validate biomarkersfor utility in assessing target engagement or pain outcomes that could be used to accelerate development of new, non-addictive pain therapies.
  • Develop and test innovative clinical trial paradigmsto evaluate pain therapies. 
  • Establish well-characterized patient cohortswith specific pain conditions and clearly-defined outcome measures for early-stage trials.
  • Continuously learnfrom experience to engineer adaptive, ever-improving early phase testing of new pain therapies.


  • Funding for clinical trials conducted within EPPIC-Net derives from NIH's "Other Transactional Authority," which differs from grants, contracts and cooperative agreements.
  • Intellectual property and products (assets) studied within EPPIC-Net remain the property of the asset owner. 
  • EPPIC-Net will support clinical trials of:
    • Investigational drugs and biologics, investigational devices, natural products, and surgical procedures for the treatment of pain
    • Deeply phenotyped patients with pain conditions of high unmet need. 
    • Drugs or devices with a high potential to move to industry-funded phase 3 efficacy trials, should the early phase study achieve the prespecified endpoints.
  • EPPIC-net will interface with the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS) Back Pain Consortium (BACPAC) to study response of mechanistic subtypes of back pain patients to specific interventions.

Supporting NIH Institutes and Centers


EPPIC-net Application Process 


Barbara I. Karp, MD

This page last reviewed on April 18, 2019