Russian scientists have created the first anti-relapse treatment agent, which utilises a molecule that helps block the effects of heroin, morphine and desomorphine, Izvestia reported.
According to the scientists, when the medicine gets into the blood stream, the system starts producing antibodies that prevent the drugs from making it to the brain. As a result, the person does not feel the expected high from the drugs.
The new medicine is being created by a team of Russian scientists led by Marina Myagkova, head of the Laboratory of Immunochemistry of Physiologically Active Compounds in the Russian Academy of Sciences’ Institute of Physiologically Active Compounds.
Testing the new medicine against drug addiction, according to Izvestia, will take up to two years. Animal testing will begin in 2017, after which clinical trials for its effectiveness in humans will start. By 2023, the medicine may become the basis for Russia’s first drug-addiction medication.
Currently, drug addiction is primarily treated with foreign medications such as the American-produced naltrexone, and it is also treated with psychotherapy. Today, there are about 600,000 registered drug addicts in Russia. Unofficial estimates put this number closer to five to seven million.