Updating the Opioid Crisis: Novel Approaches to Reducing Opioid Abuse and Overdose

Tuesday April 27, 2021

2:00 pm - 3:30 pm Central Time (CT)

View session on the EB Virtual Platform (EB registration required)


Chair :

Greg Collins
University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio

Sarah Withey
Mclean Hospital/Harvard Medical School

The United States is in the midst of an opioid epidemic, with current estimates placing the number of opioid-related deaths at more than 70,000 per year. This symposium will provide an update on the current state of the epidemic, with an eye towards challenges that we will face in the coming years. This symposium will also describe novel pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic approaches to combat opioid addiction and overdose, such as opioid-specific vaccines and pseudo-irreversible opioid receptor antagonists. Finally, this symposium will discuss innovative approaches to reduce opioid addiction through the development of non-opioid strategies to relieve pain.


Kurt Rasmussen - NIDA

The U.S. Opioid Crisis: Science = Solutions

Dr. Compton will provide an overview of the changing face of the opioid crisis, as the primary players have shifted from oxycontin to heroin to fentanyl to mixtures of opioids and methamphetamine. In addition to setting the stage for the talks to follow, Dr. Compton will also discuss NIDA's efforts to combat the opioid epidemic by highlight some of exciting research efforts by those not involved in this symposium.

Marco Pravetoni - University of Minnesota Medical School

Vaccines and Antibodies to Counteract Opioid Use Disorders and Overdose

Dr. Pravetoni will discuss recent advances in the development and translation of vaccines and antibodies for the treatment and prevention of opioid use disorders and overdose. The talk will focus on both pre-clinical and early clinical studies conducted by Dr. Pravetoni and collaborators.

Charles France - University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio

Methocinamox, A Novel and Long-lasting Approach to Treating Opioid Abuse and Overdose

Dr. France will describe recent and ongoing studies in rodents and non-human primates to develop methocinamox (MCAM), a novel, pseudo-irreversible u-opioid receptor antagonist for the treatment of opioid use disorder and overdose. Dr. France will focus on interactions between MCAM and opioid self-administration, opioid dependence and withdrawal, opioid-induced respiratory depression, as well as the analgesic effects of opioids.

Daniela Salvemini - St. Louis University School of Medicine

Targeting Sphingolipid Signaling to Mitigate Opioid-induced Adverse Effects

Dr. Salvemini will discuss ongoing research efforts to understand how neuro-inflammatory processes are engaged in the periphery and CNS during the development of chronic neuropathic pain. Dr. Salvemini will focus on recent efforts to develop therapeutics targeting sphingolipid signaling as effective non-opioid analgesics for treating pain.

Last Updated: February 8, 2021
Key Dates
April 27 – 30, 2021

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