May 23, 2022
Bill Stilley is the CEO and President of Adial Pharmaceuticals, which is focused on developing medicinal therapies for the treatment and prevention of addiction. Their first drug is a genetically targeted drug to treat alcohol use disorder, otherwise known as alcoholism.
Bill explains, "Yes, in the end, a lot of diseases are based on our genetics, and addiction seems to have some genetic components. I mean, for decades, it's been known that people that have had family members with an alcohol use problem have a much higher rate, and the numbers thrown around a lot are a nine times greater likelihood to have the problem themselves. Of course, some of that's going to be due to an environment, but it's clear that there's a genetic component."
"So, we believe that we have identified some defects in the serotonin system of certain patients which will allow them to respond to treatment with our drug, which is a serotonin-3 receptor blocker. By that, I mean what it seems to indicate in clinical trials to date, is that we can reduce the craving that these patients have that's driven through their serotonin system to encourage them where they have a need to drink, rather than just a desire to drink."
"In our phase 2 study, which is a 283 patient clinical trial that was run with our drug, patients that were on the drug that had the right genetics reduced the frequency of their drinking by almost 50%. When they drank, they reduced the amount they drank by almost 60%. So they picked up the bottle less often, and when they picked it up, they could put it back down. We think this is a really meaningful result for these people."
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