First human tests of meth medication completed

December 20, 2012

(Medical Xpress)—InterveXion Therapeutics LLC and the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) have successfully completed dosing in the first human safety study of a medication to help methamphetamine users fight their addictions.

The medication is expected to significantly reduce or prevent the euphoric rush that crave by keeping methamphetamine in the and out of the brain, where the drug exerts its most powerful effects.

In the Phase I trial, 40 healthy volunteers who do not use methamphetamine received the medication over the past eight months and experienced no serious side effects.

"While we still have lots of work to do, this is a significant milestone for this research," said Brooks Gentry, M.D., a UAMS professor and InterveXion's chief officer who is overseeing the clinical . "Many experimental drugs fail during the first phase of a clinical trial, so we're excited that we can now look forward to testing in methamphetamine users who want help reducing their meth dependence."

When it has received final approval, the antibody will be given as an integral part of a methamphetamine user's complete treatment program, which consists of counseling and possibly other medications to reduce craving.

The medication, named ch-mAb7F9, is a monoclonal antibody. InterveXion, the trial sponsor, contracted the safety study to the Quintiles Phase 1 unit in Overland Park, Kan. The volunteers in the study, who received doses that ranged from 0.2 to 20 mg/kg, will continue to be followed for 21 weeks. Results of the Phase 1a study are expected in mid-2013.

The next steps in the development of the medication include further nonclinical safety testing followed by a Phase 1b clinical safety trial in current methamphetamine users.

Funding for the project was awarded to UAMS and InterveXion from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA). Additional support was given by the UAMS Translational Research Institute. NIDA has backed the development, manufacture and toxicology testing of this medication through previous grants to InterveXion and UAMS.

InterveXion, a UAMS BioVentures incubator client company, has licensed the technology for anti-methamphetamine antibody products from UAMS and is working closely with the university during product development.

Methamphetamine abuse has been a significant problem in the United States for the last decade. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, there were 439,000 methamphetamine users in the U.S. in 2011. New methamphetamine users numbered 133,000. In 2010, more than 100,000 were admitted to drug abuse treatment with methamphetamine as their primary substance of abuse. In addition, there were 54.9 emergency department visits per 100,000 population aged 21 or older involving use.

Explore further: New study finds that PROMETAT, a controversial methamphetamine treatment program, is ineffective

Related Stories

New study finds that PROMETAT, a controversial methamphetamine treatment program, is ineffective

November 15, 2011
A recent study has found that PROMETAT, a popular but controversial treatment for methamphetamine addiction, is no more effective than placebo in reducing methamphetamine use, keeping users in treatment, or reducing cravings ...

Review questions link between methamphetamine and cognitive impairment

January 10, 2012
(Medical Xpress) -- A review of recent research on methamphetamine use suggests that claims the drug causes significant cognitive problems are exaggerated. The study by Carl Hart, PhD, and colleagues at Columbia University ...

Study suggests increased risk of schizophrenia in heavy methamphetamine users

November 8, 2011
In the first worldwide study of its kind, scientists from Toronto's Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) found evidence that heavy methamphetamine users might have a higher risk of developing schizophrenia. This ...

Recommended for you

Mind-body therapies immediately reduce unmanageable pain in hospital patients

July 25, 2017
Mindfulness training and hypnotic suggestion significantly reduced acute pain experienced by hospital patients, according to a new study published in the Journal of General Internal Medicine.

Study suggests ending opioid epidemic will take years

July 20, 2017
The question of how to stem the nation's opioid epidemic now has a major detailed response. A new study chaired by University of Virginia School of Law Professor Richard Bonnie provides extensive recommendations for curbing ...

Team-based model reduces prescription opioid use among patients with chronic pain by 40 percent

July 17, 2017
A new, team-based, primary care model is decreasing prescription opioid use among patients with chronic pain by 40 percent, according to a new study out of Boston Medical Center's Grayken Center for Addiction Medicine, which ...

Private clinics' peddling of unproven stem cell treatments is unsafe and unethical

July 7, 2017
Stem cell science is an area of medical research that continues to offer great promise. But as this week's paper in Science Translational Medicine highlights, a growing number of clinics around the globe, including in Australia, ...

Popular heartburn drugs linked to higher death risk

July 4, 2017
Popular heartburn drugs called proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) have been linked to a variety of health problems, including serious kidney damage, bone fractures and dementia. Now, a new study from Washington University School ...

Most reproductive-age women using opioids also use another substance

June 30, 2017
The majority of reproductive-age and pregnant women who use opioids for non-medical purposes also use at least one other substance, ranging from nicotine or alcohol to cocaine, according to a University of Pittsburgh Graduate ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.