Scientists have developed a modified form of Botox that could ease chronic pain in patients with nerve injuries.

Botox is the brand name of an injectable cosmetic procedure famous among A-list celebrities to smooth out fine lines and wrinkles. The injectable fluid is made up of a protein called Botulinum toxin, which is produced by the bacterium Clostridium botulinum.

Now, U.S.-based biopharmaceutical company Neuresta, in collaboration with a team of scientists from the Universities of Sheffield, Reading and University College London (UCL), have created a new, elongated botulinum neurotoxin that could provide long-term pain relief, according to Sky News.

The availability of chronic pain drugs is sparse due to the dangerous side effects. Opioids like fentanyl and morphine are pain-relief drugs available in the market. However, their efficacy is obscured by the risks of overdose, addiction and abuse.

The study, published in the journal Life Science Alliance, showed that the precisely engineered Botulinum toxin can provide pain relief without inducing paralysis or producing adverse side effects. Researchers presented the theory after the study turned out to be a success on mice models.

Though it is yet to be tested on humans, scientists speculate that the effects of the modified Botox can last up to five months.

The team, led by Professor Bazbek Davletov, Chair of Biomedical Science and Research Associate Charlotte Leese from the University of Sheffield, developed the new way of rebuilding Botox by using elements of Clostridium botulinum. After breaking down Botox into two parts, the team was able to produce an optimal elongated configuration and put them back together in a lego-like fashion, according to News-Medical.

"Currently, painkillers can only relieve chronic pain temporarily and often have unwanted side effects. A single injection of the new nonparalytic blocker at the site of pain could potentially relieve pain for many months in humans and this now needs to be tested. We hope that the engineered drug could improve the quality of life for the millions of people world-wide who suffer from chronic pain," Professor Davletov, University of Sheffield's School of Biosciences, told News-Medical.

After the study produced promising results, the research was handed over to Neuresta, which was now working toward its commercial release.

"These new Botulinum molecules are effective in reducing pain-like behavior in models of human pain," Dr. Maria Maiaru, from the University of Reading, who is associated with the research, told Sky News. "These new Botulinum molecules are effective in reducing pain-like behavior in models of human pain."

Botox is the most popular cosmetic dermatological procedure. Pixabay