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Cocaine esterase shows promising results in treating cocaine toxicity

26 April 2010 Email This Post Email This Post Print This Post Print This Post

Cocaine EsteraseCocaine esterase (CocE) is an engineered enzyme who shows promising results in treating cocaine toxicity. The CocE enzyme is isolated from a soil bacterium found around the roots of the coca plant and  works by breaking down cocaine into inactive products more rapidly than the human body.

Researchers at the University of Michigan in collaboration with Columbia University and the University of Kentucky have been researching the potential of the enzyme to block cocaine toxicity by eliminating cocaine. They found out the CocE enzyme effectively degraded cocaine even in the presence of morphine, nicotine or alcohol without degrading benzoylecgonine,  the metabolite used in urinalyses for recent cocaine use.

These promising results, in combination with previous studies that show CocE can reverse cocaine-induced cardiovascular changes, seizures, convulsions and lethality in rodent models, suggest that CocE may be a good candidate for clinical treatment of cocaine toxicity.

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