Only a Straw Away? –
Sept. 17, 2018 – A radical gene therapy for drug addiction has been shown to dampen down cravings for cocaine and protect against overdoses of the substance that would normally be lethal. The therapy uses implants of stem cells which have been genetically engineered to release a powerful enzyme that removes the class A drug from the bloodstream. Tests in the lab showed that mice fitted with the implants lost their appetite for cocaine and survived massive overdoses of the drug that killed 100% of untreated animals. The work has raised hopes for a long term treatment for addiction that works by clearing drugs from the body as soon as they are injected, inhaled or ingested. The therapy would effectively make addicts immune to the substances.