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UAMS’ InterveXion Gets Another $13.8M for Drug Therapy Trials

2 min read

The National Institutes of Health has awarded a three-year, $13.8 million grant to UAMS biopharmaceutical company InterveXion to test a drug that could help methamphetamine users break their addiction. 

The funds will be used for a mid-stage clinical trial of IXT-m200, which could be the only potential treatment of its kind for methamphetamine use disorder and overdose, UAMS said in a news release.

The drug is a lab-designed monoclonal antibody that has shown the potential to significantly reduce or prevent the euphoric rush that drug users crave by keeping methamphetamine in the bloodstream and out of the brain, where the drug has its most damaging effects, according to the release.

The drug in 2016 received the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s Fast Track Designation, which aids in development and speeds up the review process for drugs that fill an unmet medical need. UAMS said the results of a previous clinical trial were promising. 

Methamphetamine-involved overdose deaths nearly tripled between 2015 and 2019, a study by NIH found. 

“There is an urgent need for an effective treatment, and we’re excited to begin this next phase of testing,” Dr. Brooks Gentry, a UAMS professor and one of the grant’s principal investigators, said in the release. “Because there are no medications out there to treat meth use disorder or overdose, we hope the FDA Fast Track Designation will help us move a little more quickly.”

The grant adds to $8.1 million in funding that the NIH awarded last year to study IXT-m200 as a treatment for methamphetamine overdose. 

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