Washington, February 20 : A University of Queensland pharmacy graduate is gearing up to conduct human trials to determine the effectiveness of a new drug in treating depression as well as in curbing addictions to smoking, drinking, and gambling.
Pharmacy graduate Dr. Selena Bartlett has revealed that the drug, marketed as Chantix by Pfizer, reduced alcohol consumption in rats by 50 per cent in earlier studies.
She will now lead a research team through human trials, set to begin in the US next month.
Although Selena is convinced about the drug's potential, she has so far found it very difficult to convince others, and that too despite this medication gaining widespread media attention in the US.
"Big companies still do not believe in the potential of addiction as a market, believe it or not," said Dr. Bartlett, the Director of the Preclinical Development Group at the Ernest Gallo Clinic and Research Centre, one of the world's top alcohol and addiction research centres, at the University of California in San Francisco.
Selena has revealed that the Chantix trials are just one of 10 major projects for her lab team, which is working on reducing ethanol consumption and new drug screening technologies.