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When Jeff Kindler stepped down as Pfizer CEO in 2010, the company employed more than 100,000 workers and spent nearly $9.5 billion a year on research. Now, leading a 15-person startup, he believes he can do something that Pfizer never did: develop a treatment for chronic pain that doesn’t put patients at risk of addiction.

Kindler’s new company, Centrexion Therapeutics, moved one step closer to that goal this week after its lead drug succeeded in a mid-stage trial that could offer some hope to sufferers of osteoarthritic knee pain.

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