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
- 2 men accused of not calling for help following Greensburg overdose that proved fatalon November 30, 2020 at 9:54 am
Greensburg police charged two men with reckless endangerment and other offenses after accusing them of not calling an ambulance after a woman overdosed at a Greensburg home. Nicholas Anthony Iapalucci ...
- Facing the methamphetamine threat in Tennessee head-on | Opinionon November 27, 2020 at 2:10 am
There is also no FDA-approved reversal antidote for methamphetamine and cocaine overdoses like naloxone for opioids. As the drug threat evolves, we’re supercharging our efforts to defeat it.
- Opioid firm's $200M sits while lawyers squabbleon November 26, 2020 at 3:48 am
When it filed for bankruptcy last year, Purdue Pharma agreed to an innovative plan: It would make $200 million available immediately to help people harmed by its signature painkiller, OxyContin, and ...
- Money promised to combat U.S. overdose crisis sits unusedon November 25, 2020 at 10:25 am
READ MORE: Opioid deaths are surging in the pandemic ... connecting them to services and supplying overdose antidote drugs. It was left to parties in the case to work out the details.
- Money promised to combat US overdose crisis sits unusedon November 25, 2020 at 10:00 am
The main disagreement is between nearly 3,000 local governments and advocates for those hurt by opioids ... them to services and supplying overdose antidote drugs. It was left to parties in ...
- Money promised to combat US overdose crisis sits unusedon November 25, 2020 at 9:33 am
When it filed for bankruptcy last year, Purdue Pharma agreed to an innovative plan: It would make $200 million available immediately to help those those harmed by its signature ...
- Money promised to combat US overdose crisis sits unusedon November 25, 2020 at 8:08 am
Jill Cichowicz, an advocate for opioid addiction treatment ... connecting them to services and supplying overdose antidote drugs. It was left to parties in the case to work out the details.
- Support from insideon November 18, 2020 at 10:02 pm
The state's Department of Correction has launched a forward-thinking program that offers naloxone – a drug also known as Narcan that works as an opioid overdose antidote – to people ...
- As opioid use spikes during pandemic, consumption sites should be 'a no-brainer'on November 18, 2020 at 3:04 am
Opioid deaths skyrocket ... calls for further measures to be taken to reduce harm. 'There is no singular antidote,' to addiction and substance use, say the authors, but supervised consumption ...
via Bing News