About two years ago a Minnesota Partnership team of researchers reported findings on a potential antidote for cocaine poisoning. The research has continued since then with a grant from the National Institutes of Health. Now one of the Institutes has taken notice and awarded Steve Brimijoin, Ph.D., a half million dollars annually for the next five years to complete the basic studies. In other words, they want him to "take it right up to the border of a clinical trial" with enough evidence to warrant an FDA go ahead.
This is significant for a couple of reasons. One, seed money from the Minnesota Partnership is again showing that it can jump start innovative ideas and give researchers enough data to successfully apply for continuing funding from NIH. Translation: the Partnership is doing exactly what it's supposed to do. (Note that the NIH estimates that for every million in award funding, 16 jobs in science are created. You can do the math on this one.)
Secondly, this is a different type of award. It is even more competitive than most and is aimed at taking strong research the rest of the way to a trial in humans. Only four grants were awarded nationally by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA).
Dr. Brimijoin's team has five years and flexibility to deliver the goods. The overall goal is to find a means to help people with drug addictions kick the habit. More today from Andy Coglin in New Scientist magazine. Andy talked wth Steve last week.