"The Clinton Administration?s war against drugs is being fought on all fronts -- not just in the streets but in the laboratory as well," said Acting Energy Secretary Elizabeth Moler. ?We want Americans to know that we've got the best scientific minds in the country working hard to halt the destruction of lives and communities caused by drug addiction. Today's announcement offers the thrilling prospect that we may be closing in on a major science-based victory."
"These exciting preclinical data point to a major new approach to developing medications for cocaine addiction," said NIDA Director Alan I. Leshner. "Since we have no medications for cocaine overdose or addiction now in our clinical toolbox, NIDA has declared developing anti-cocaine medicines our top priority."
"While other pharmaceutical approaches to treating cocaine addiction have shown promise in animals, there is currently no effective pharmacologic treatment for cocaine addiction in humans," said Dewey. "In fact, the limited number of drugs currently being investigated in human addicts may prove to be addictive in themselves, or create tolerance and withdrawal symptoms."
GVG's anti-cocaine effects, however, have been tested more extensively in animals than any of the previously reported drugs. The BNL-led team used a total of ten techniques, including state-of-the-art medical imaging and behavior studies, to confirm their result.
GVG was originally developed to treat epilepsy. It is already in use in Europe and Canada, where patients have been using it safely for several years. The Food & Drug Administration has reviewed its safety and effectiveness for potential use in treating epilepsy in the U.S. It is expected to receive final FDA approval for epilepsy use this fall.
Today's publication is the culmination of more than twelve years of
investigation that started when Dewey and co-author Jonathan Bro
Contact: Kara Villamil
DOE/Brookhaven National Laboratory