Published: Feb. 7, 2023

A non-pathogenic environmental bacterium has potential to reduce relapse-like and addictive behavior associated with cocaine use.


Psychostimulant addiction is a major public health burden with no current FDA-approved treatment and a pressing need for new medications. Intensive efforts are being directed toward discovering therapeutic candidates for cocaine and amphetamine addictions.


Research teams led by Dr. Chris Lowry of CU Boulder and Dr. Thomas Keck of Rowan University are investigating the translational potential of a novel immunotherapy that entails immunization with mycobacterium M. vaccae, a nonpathogenic environmental bacterium for its potential to reduce relapse-like and addictive behavior assocaited with cocaine use. Preliminary in vivo data looks promising and given the excellent safety record of M. vaccae therapy in clinical trials, path to efficacy studies and clinical development seems viable.

Market Application

Applications for the technology include cocaine rehabilitation and relapse.

What's Next?

This team is seeking partners and funding to move closer to clinical use.


Nicole Forsberg: