(+)-Methamphetamine (METH) use and addiction has grown at alarming rates over the past two decades. Unlike heroin and its methadone treatment, no approved chemical substitute exists for treatment of METH addiction. Immunopharmacotherapy uses an alternative approach to treating addiction: vaccination leads to the production of antibodies that prevent drug distribution to brain receptors.
A series of small molecules that show promise as METH vaccines have been identified by Kim Janda and colleagues, Scripps Research Institute, California, USA. The team used molecular modeling to determine which structures would target the most stable conformations of methamphetamine. Initial tests in mice showed six of the structures were promising; they had high affinity for METH and produced antibody concentrations in the range 45−108 μg/mL.
- Impact of Distinct Chemical Structures for the Development of a Methamphetamine Vaccine
A. Y. Moreno, A. V. Mayorov, K. D. Janda,
J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2011.