Cocaine addiction continues to be a major health and social problem in spite of governmental efforts devoted towards educating the public in the dangers of illicit drug use. A variety of pharmacotherapies and psychosocial programmes have been proposed in an effort to provide a method for alleviating the physical and psychological symptoms of cocaine abuse. Unfortunately, these methods have been met with limited success, illustrating a critical need for new effective approaches for the treatment of cocaine addiction. The authors have recently disclosed an alternative cocaine abuse treatment strategy using intranasal administration of an engineered filamentous bacteriophage displaying cocaine-sequestering antibodies on its surface. These phage particles are an effective vector for central nervous system penetration and are capable of binding cocaine, thereby blocking its behavioural effects in a rodent model.
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