Thursday, September 18, 2008

new treatment research

not quite the "drink safely" pill yet,
but some serious progress into the
sparse world of medical help for alcoholism.

Research Institute and Gallo Research Center today announced that
peer-reviewed results from a study testing Naltrexone-derived
pyridomorphinan (SoRI-9409) will be published in the December 2008 issue of
the journal Biological Psychiatry. The publication is available online
today at the journal's website, and suggests that a new compound that
causes selective and long-lasting reduction in ethanol consumption might be
a promising candidate as a novel treatment for alcoholism.

The article, "A Novel Delta Opioid Receptor Antagonist, SoRI-9409,
Produces a Selective and Long-Lasting Decrease in Ethanol Consumption in
Heavy-Drinking Rats" by Selena Bartlett, BPharm PhD, Director of
Preclinical Development Group at the Gallo Research Center at University of
California San Francisco, et al presents the effects of SoRI-9409 on
ethanol consumption. These are promising developments for the treatment of
alcoholism. The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA)
estimates 15.1 million people are alcohol-abusing or alcohol-dependent
individuals. There are currently only three FDA-approved options for the
treatment of alcoholism.

The compound, SoRI-9409, was first designed and synthesized in Southern
Research's Drug Discovery research division by Dr. Subramaniam (Sam)
Ananthan under U.S. Government Grant DA008883. "Southern Research has been
particularly interested in ligands that interact with opioid delta receptor
subtype since such ligands hold promise as therapeutic agents for treatment
of drug addictions and other disorders," said Dr. Ananthan, senior
scientist and manager of Computational Chemistry and CNS Discovery
Chemistry at Southern Research Institute. "The present findings by Dr.
Bartlett and her group on the effect of SoRI-9409 on its ability to reduce
alcohol intake not only provides us with a new drug lead, but also serves
as the impetus for further research aimed at discovery of new therapeutic
compounds for treating alcoholism and related disorders."

The Preclinical Development Group that Dr. Bartlett leads at the
UCSF-affiliated Gallo Center was established to develop new treatments and
bridge the gap between research and clinical treatment. The purpose of the
study was to find improved compounds for the treatment of alcoholism. "The
study results demonstrate that this compound causes selective and
long-lasting reductions of ethanol consumption and suggests the compound
might be a promising candidate as a novel treatment for alcoholism. This
study indicates that compounds with a higher affinity for delta opioid
receptors and reduced affinity for mu opioid receptors might be better
treatment candidates than Naltrexone, the current FDA approved treatment
for alcoholism", said Dr. Bartlett.

"The study on SoRI-9409 and alcohol cessation has yielded vital data
that will help fuel novel treatments for a devastating and very
difficult-to-treat illness," said Dr. Bartlett. "To date, we have
considered and evaluated other compounds, and theories, but the information
yielded from this study, along with previous research on this particular
compound, has proven to be the most promising to date. We are looking
forward to collaborating with our partner, Southern Research, to enter the
next phase of research." The research was also supported by the State of
California for Medical Research on Alcohol and Substance Abuse and
Department of Defense.

Southern Research operates a successful drug discovery research program
resulting in six FDA approved drugs with six additional drug candidates in
late-stage preclinical and early clinical development.

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Shadow said...

all very encouraging. but drugs to fix 'drugs'... not something i would try as first option.