Clinical Potential of an Enzyme-based Novel Therapy for Cocaine Overdose

Ting Zhang, Xirong Zheng, Ziyuan Zhou, Xiabin Chen, Zhenyu Jin, Jing Deng, Chang Guo Zhan, Fang Zheng

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


It is a grand challenge to develop a truly effective medication for treatment of cocaine overdose. The current available, practical emergence treatment for cocaine overdose includes administration of a benzodiazepine anticonvulsant agent (e.g. diazepam) and/or physical cooling with an aim to relieve the symptoms. The inherent difficulties of antagonizing physiological effects of drugs in the central nervous system have led to exploring protein-based pharmacokinetic approaches using biologics like vaccines, monoclonal antibodies, and enzymes. However, none of the pharmacokinetic agents has demonstrated convincing preclinical evidence of clinical potential for drug overdose treatment without a question mark on the timing used in the animal models. Here we report the use of animal models, including locomotor activity, protection, and rescue experiments in rats, of drug toxicity treatment with clinically relevant timing for the first time. It has been demonstrated that an efficient cocaine-metabolizing enzyme developed in our previous studies can rapidly reverse the cocaine toxicity whenever the enzyme is given to a living rat, demonstrating promising clinical potential of an enzyme-based novel therapy for cocaine overdose as a successful example in comparison with the commonly used diazepam.

Original languageEnglish
Article number15303
JournalScientific Reports
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 1 2017

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported in part by the National Institutes of Health (NIH grants UH2/UH3 DA041115, R01 DA035552, R01 DA032910, R01 DA013930, and R01 DA025100) and the National Science Foundation (NSF grant CHE-1111761).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 The Author(s).

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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