Overdose from opiates has skyrocketed. According to the National Center for Health Statistics, on average, 130 Americans die every day from an opioid overdose. The high cost of antidotes such as NARCAN® prevents many first responders from having access to lifesaving antidotes when they need it most.
Researchers at the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center have identified a new method of producing these compounds using a microorganism discovered in a waste stream associated with the processing of opium poppy. This green chemistry process has the potential to greatly reduce the cost of the antidote drugs as well as decrease chemicals currently used that result in large amounts of harmful waste. Details of the discovery were published as the cover story in the journal Nature Sustainability: “Enzyme morphinan N-demethylase for more sustainable opiate processing”.
“Enzymes perform reactions at efficiencies that surpass synthetic chemistry, thereby reducing the cost and impact of drug production on the environment. We work now to optimize production levels of the enzyme to a scale sufficient for industrial processes. Greener manufacturing would make a difference in people’s lives,” said Megan Augustin, lead author and research associate in the Kutchan lab at the Danforth Center.
Naturally occurring opiates, such as morphine and thebaine, are produced in poppy species. Thebaine is converted into painkillers and opiate addiction treatments, the latter requiring a chemical reaction called N-demethylation. Current opiate N-demethylation utilizes noxious reagents, resulting in harmful waste. One way to make opiate production more sustainable is to use enzymes rather than chemicals. Microorganisms provide a rich source of enzymes useful for metabolizing unique compounds in their environment. Augustin and her colleagues probed an opium processing waste stream sample to identify an organism capable of catalyzing opiate N-demethylation. To identify a biocatalyst, a sludge sample was subjected to minimal medium containing thebaine as the sole carbon source. This led to the discovery of Thebainfresser, a Methylobacterium that metabolizes opiates by removing the N-methyl group. N-demethylation was induced following growth in minimal medium, a characteristic that led to discovery of the underlying gene MND(morphinan N-demethylase). The enzyme MND was found to be robust and versatile, N-demethylating structurally diverse substrates at varying temperatures and pH levels. In addition, MND tolerated selected organic solvents and maintained activity when immobilized. These properties make it an attractive candidate for further development for pharmaceutical manufacture.
The Latest on: Opioid antidotes
via Google News
The Latest on: Opioid antidotes
- The Opioid Crisison June 25, 2019 at 9:53 am
States have expanded access to the opioid antidote naloxone, in some cases requiring doctors to “co-prescribe” it for patients receiving legal opioids who are considered at high risk of overdosing. ... […]
- As opioid market shifts, so must our strategyon June 22, 2019 at 1:00 pm
Fentanyl is the reason that naloxone, an effective opioid antidote, is now being carried by everyone from meter readers to suburban parents. Fatal opioid overdoses have increased five-fold since 2010, ... […]
- Womack pharmacies among first military facilities to carry opiate antidoteon June 22, 2019 at 11:27 am
Womack Army Medical Center at Fort Bragg is among the first pharmacies in the Defense Health Agency to carry an opiate overdose antidote, officials said ... Every patient who gets an opioid ... […]
- Acupuncture May Be The Antidote For Arizona's Opioid Crisison June 21, 2019 at 2:54 pm
The National Acupuncture Detoxification Association claims auricular acupuncture could help addicts get off opioids. (Tim Royan/Cronkite News) PHOENIX – The State of Arizona Acupuncture Board of ... […]
- N.J. gave away 32K doses of naloxone in 1 day this week. The nasal spray is an overdose antidote.on June 21, 2019 at 11:21 am
New Jersey health officials say more than 32,000 doses of naloxone were distributed this week as part of an initiative to provide the opioid antidote at pharmacies in the state. The doses of naloxone ... […]
- Narcan spray donated to Boys and Girls Clubs to help reverse opioid overdoseson June 19, 2019 at 2:56 pm
Its staff and volunteers have already been using the injectable form of the opioid antidote, naloxone, to help reverse the life-threatening effects of an overdose. But now clubs across Canada have ... […]
- List of the FDA-approved medications for opioid addictionon June 19, 2019 at 1:19 pm
A synthetic opiate that partially fills the brain's opioid receptors. It's commonly known as Suboxone, a brand name. It reduces cravings and prevents withdrawal symptoms. The commonly prescribed type ... […]
- Free Naloxone Distribution at Pharmacies Across The State Tuesday to Combat Opioid Problemon June 16, 2019 at 5:17 pm
“We applaud the New Jersey Board of Pharmacy for approving a pilot program that allows pharmacies to distribute opioid antidotes free of charge and without prescription,” said Sharon M. Joyce, ... […]
- Trump campaigned on defeating the opioid crisis. It’s hard to tell if he’s winning.on June 16, 2019 at 12:15 pm
Federal attention to opioids does help people with other drug addiction problems ... getting saved amid national efforts to arm the public with naloxone, the overdose antidote. “People will count the ... […]
- Study Debunks Theory That Legalized Marijuana Helps Prevent Opioid Deathson June 11, 2019 at 10:01 pm
In the opioid crisis, dozens of forces are playing out across the nation in different ways. How widely available is the overdose antidote naloxone? Who has insurance? How broadly does insurance cover ... […]
via Bing News