The mission of the Analgesic, Anesthetic, and Addiction Clinical Trial Translations, Innovations, Opportunities, and Networks (ACTTION) public-private partnership with the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is to identify, prioritize, sponsor, coordinate, and promote innovative activities — with a special interest in optimizing clinical trials — that will expedite the discovery and development of improved analgesic, anesthetic, addiction, and peripheral neuropathy treatments for the benefit of the public health.

ACTTION is a multi-year, multi-phase initiative that is closely aligned with the FDA's Critical Path Initiative. This public-private partnership has been designed to streamline the discovery and development process for new analgesic, anesthetic, addiction, and peripheral neuropathy medications and to more generally accelerate the development of treatments with improved efficacy and safety.

The key objectives of ACTTION involve initiating and supporting strategic collaborations among a broad spectrum of stakeholders — including, but not limited to, academia, the FDA and other government agencies, industry, professional organizations, patient advocacy groups, foundations, and philanthropic organizations — with the goals of sharing data and innovative thinking about the development of novel therapeutics. These strategic collaborations involve a wide range of research projects and other activities, for example, scientific workshops, consensus meetings, and in-depth analyses of clinical trial data to determine the effects of research methods on study assay sensitivity and efficiency.

ACTTION is intended to have benefits that are international in scope. To represent the bridges that ACTTION is establishing among its diverse stakeholders, this website is illustrated with watermarks of two bridges that share the distinction of connecting different continents. Directly below is the First Bosphorus Bridge in Istanbul, Turkey, which connects Europe and Asia; on the Contact Us webpage is the Leifur Eiriksson Bridge in Iceland's Reykjanes peninsula, which spans a rift valley between the North American and European continental plates.


March 13, 2017: Two New ACTTION Working Groups

ACTTTION is pleased to announce the formation of two new Working Groups: "Addressing Disparities in the Distribution and Assessment of Pain and its Treatments" (ADDAPT), the chair of which is Hanna Grol-Prokopczyk, PhD (University of Buffalo), and "Promoting Research on Phenotyping, Biomarkers, and Genotyping to Augment Treatment Efficacy" (PROPAGATE), the co-chairs of which are Allan Basbaum, PhD (UC San Francisco), Robert Edwards, PhD (Harvard University), and Clifford Woolf, MD, PhD (Harvard University). The ADDAPT Working Group consists of an interdisciplinary group of researchers and advocates aiming to document, understand, and help address social disparities in pain and its treatment (including disparities by gender, race/ethnicity, and socioeconomic status). The PROPAGATE Working Group will promote the development of novel pain therapies by bridging the study of preclinical and clinical pain genotypes and phenotypes and identifying biomarkers of acute and chronic pain.

January 9, 2017: ACTTION Presentations at Dental, APS, and NeuPSIG Meetings

ACTTION Associate Director Dennis Turk, PhD, will present two talks at the joint meeting of the International Association for Dental Research, American Association of Dental Research, and Canadian Association for Dental Research, to be held in San Francisco, California from March 21-25, 2017. He will review ACTTION's efforts to develop evidence-based diagnostic criteria for acute and chronic pain conditions in a workshop on "Oral neuropathic pain: consensus guidelines" and in a symposium on "Oral pain taxonomy: building on the success of the DC/TMD." ACTTION Assistant Directors, Jennifer Gewandter, PhD, and Shannon Smith, PhD, will present posters that report on ACTTION Working Group projects at the annual meeting of the American Pain Society, to be held in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania from May 17-20, 2017. Dr. Gewandter will describe the results of a systematic review of methodologic aspects of clinical trials of chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy initiated during chemotherapy; she will be at the author-attended poster session on Thursday, May 18 from 3:45-5:15 pm. Dr. Smith will present the results of meta-analyses comparing the assay sensitivity of ratings of average and worst pain; she will be at the author-attended poster session on Thursday, May 18 from 9:30-11 am. Dr. Gewandter will also be presenting a talk at NeuPSIG’s 6th International Congress on Neuropathic Pain, to be held in Gothenburg, Sweden from June 15-18, 2017. She will review recommendations for the design of pain clinical trials, including considerations to improve the identification of truly efficacious treatments, in a workshop on "Improving the quality of pain trials" that will be held on June 18 at 8 am. The authors/titles of these five presentations follow:

  • Gewandter JS. Research design considerations for chronic pain clinical trials.
  • Gewandter JS, Kitt RA, Cavaletti G, Freeman R, McDermott MP, Mohile NA, Mohile SG, Smith AG, Turk DC, Dworkin RH. Research design characteristics and clarity of reporting in trials of chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy treatments initiated during chemotherapy: an ACTTION systematic review.
  • Smith SM, Jensen MP, He H, Kitt R Koch J, Pan A, McDermott MP, Turk DC, Dworkin RH. Comparing the assay sensitivity of average pain intensity and worst pain intensity: an ACTTION meta-analysis.
  • Turk DC. ACTTION's initiatives to develop comprehensive acute and chronic pain taxonomies.
  • Turk DC. Orofacial pain and the AAPT taxonomy: looking back, going forward.