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TheStreet Open House

Catalyst Pharmaceutical Partners Initiates A Registration-Directed U.S. Phase II(b) Clinical Trial In Collaboration With The National Institute On Drug Abuse And Veteran's Administration Cooperative Studies Program

About CPP-109

CPP-109 works by inhibiting an enzyme, GABA aminotransferase, that normally breaks down gamma amino butyric acid (GABA), a dopamine-modulating neurotransmitter. The resulting excess GABA suppresses the increase in dopamine release caused by cocaine. All addictive drugs elevate dopamine levels in the parts of the brain associated with reward and reinforcement. It is thought that this reinforcing effect is the primary biochemical explanation for addiction. CPP-109 indirectly keeps dopamine levels in the normal range without impairing normal dopamine-based mechanisms. It is also thought that this effect may reduce craving, an effect that makes it very difficult for addicted patients to quit their drug habit.

About Cocaine Addiction

Cocaine is a powerfully addictive drug of abuse which acts as a strong central nervous system stimulant that significantly increases the levels of brain dopamine, a chemical messenger associated with pleasure and movement. The build-up of dopamine causes continuous stimulation of receiving neurons, which is associated with the euphoria and energetic boost experienced by cocaine abusers. 

Drug abuse and addiction, including cocaine abuse, comprise a worldwide health problem that affects millions of people and has wide-ranging negative social consequences. According to the Office of National Drug Control Policy, the costs of illicit drug abuse to society were an estimated $180 billion in 2002 in the United States. According to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, in 2008 there were and estimated 4.57 to 4.97 million users of cocaine across Europe.

In 2009, an estimated 22.5 million persons in the United States were classified with substance dependence or abuse in the past year (8.9 percent of population aged 12 or older), according to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, published by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, or SAMHSA.  An estimated 1,600,000 Americans aged 12 or older reported current use of cocaine. There were 1,120,000 persons who were classified with dependence on or abuse of cocaine.  In addition, there were an estimated 617,000 new users of cocaine in 2009. Approximately 787,000 patients sought treatment for cocaine abuse in 2009.

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