Methamphetamine Addiction

methamphetamine addictionMethamphetamine (meth) is a potent central nervous stimulant with limited medical uses.  This highly regulated Schedule II drug is also one of the most widely abused drugs because of its high potential for addiction and its widespread availability.  The 2012 United Nations World Drug Report estimates that there is an average of 33.5 million regular users of meth.  More importantly, nearly 85% of patients relapse while undergoing treatment for meth addiction.

This staggering propensity for relapse and the potential for addiction may be explained by permanent neurophysiological changes in the serotonergic and dopaminergic pathways that result from chronic meth use.  Serotonin, in particular, plays a unique role in the development of meth addiction because it regulates learning, mood, and memory processing.

Several studies have clearly shown that serotonin 5-HT2B and 5-HT1A receptors are directly involved in drug addiction and the behavioral problems that accompany chronic meth use.  For example, meth users generally experience severe withdrawal effects such as depression and anxiety which must also be treated to prevent relapse.

There are currently no safe and effective medications available for the treatment of meth addiction.  Furthermore, the estimated worldwide market potential for meth treatment is $500 million to $1 billion annually.

DAYA has identified a promising lead molecule, DDD-024, which selectively binds to 5-HT2B and 5-HT1A receptors.  DDD-024 also completely reversed meth-seeking behavior and displayed potent anti-depressive effects in preliminary animal model studies.

DAYA is seeking private and public funding to introduce DDD-024 or its improved analogs into the market to satisfy an unmet medical need.