Methamphetamine abuse has been a significant problem in the United States for the last decade. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, there were 439,000 methamphetamine users in the U.S. in 2011. New methamphetamine users numbered 133,000.
In 2010, more than 100,000 patients were admitted to drug abuse treatment with methamphetamine as their primary substance of abuse. These reports likely underestimate the actual number of METH users who need treatment since they are generated only from state and/or federally-funded treatment centers, and not required from private treatment facilities. Additionally, METH users who want treatment do not often seek help because current methods do not have high success rates.
In addition, there were an estimated 95,000 emergency department visits involving methamphetamine use; about 10,000 were seeking detox. These 2010 emergency department numbers are the highest since 2005 reports.
InterveXion’s anti-METH mAb will be used mainly in two patient markets – drug overdose and prevention of relapse to addiction. For overdose treatment, customers will mainly be emergency room doctors and hospitals where these patients are treated. Customers for relapse prevention treatment will be addiction specialists, primary care physicians, and care givers who encourage abusers to seek treatment. Because the METH active vaccine will require several weeks to generate effective antibody levels, it will only be used in the treatment of addiction, with an indication of relapse prevention.