EpiVario Secures NIDA Grant to Tackle Cocaine Addiction


PHILADELPHIA, PA — EpiVario, Inc. announced this week it has been awarded a $295,000 grant from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA). The grant aims to advance research on EpiVario’s novel small molecule inhibitors designed to reduce cocaine cravings and prevent relapse among those addicted to cocaine.

Cocaine Use Disorder (CUD) is a severe condition marked by an inability to control cocaine use despite significant harm. In the U.S., about 2.2 million people use cocaine regularly, with 1.5 million qualifying for CUD. Despite these figures, there are no FDA-approved drugs for CUD treatment.

EpiVario adopts an epigenetic approach to treat CUD. The focus is on regulating neuronal plasticity to diminish cocaine-related memories. The enzyme acetyl CoA synthetase-2 (ACSS2) plays a crucial role in forming these memories. By targeting ACSS2, EpiVario aims to develop a treatment that reduces triggered responses and helps prevent relapse in patients.

The Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase I grant will enable EpiVario to test its portfolio of ACSS2 inhibitors in animal models. Positive results could pave the way for an Investigative New Drug (IND) application with the FDA.

“This award marks a significant milestone for both our company and the millions affected by cocaine addiction worldwide,” said Thomas Kim, President & CEO of EpiVario. “We are one step closer to addressing the urgent need for a reliable and safe CUD pharmacotherapy with minimal side effects.”

The grant represents a significant step in developing an effective treatment for CUD, potentially offering new hope for those struggling with cocaine addiction.

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