IU School of Medicine study to look at potential treatment for opioid addiction

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. (WISH) — IU School of Medicine researchers have received a multi-million dollar grant to study a potential treatment for opioid addiction.

It’s a five-year project that’s expected to cost more than $12 million.

The drug is called tezumpanel and it was actually developed by Eli Lilly and Company and studied for use with migraines more than 10 years ago.

Now, IU School of Medicine researchers along with drug developer Proniras want to see if it can be used effectively to help those going through opioid withdrawal and other addictions as well as mental illnesses.

The medication will first be tested in a preclinical setting. That phase of the study is expected to cost about $2 million and last two years. If that supports further development, the grant will also provide about $10 million for a human clinical trial of the drug in individuals with opioid addiction in Indiana and across the country. That would take about three years. The money is coming from the National Institute on Drug Abuse.

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“We have a profound need for new and effective treatment for addiction and co-morbid psychiatric conditions. We believe this grant represents an exciting opportunity to move the field of addiction psychiatry treatment forward in an impactful way,” Dr. Thomas McAllister, chair of the IU School of Medicine Department of Psychiatry, said.

Proniras licensed exclusive global rights to tezampanel from Eli Lilly and Company in 2017. Since then, the company also tested it as a potential treatment for nerve agent-induced seizures.

Tezampanel is not currently approved for any treatment through the FDA.