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Toward a better cyanide antidote for terrorist attacks and other mass casualty events

Date:
January 30, 2013
Source:
American Chemical Society
Summary:
In an advance toward closing a major gap in defenses against terrorist attacks and other mass casualty events, scientists are reporting discovery of a promising substance that could be the basis for development of a better antidote for cyanide poisoning. Their report describes a potential antidote that could be self-administered, much like the medication delivered by allergy injection pens.

In an advance toward closing a major gap in defenses against terrorist attacks and other mass casualty events, scientists are reporting discovery of a promising substance that could be the basis for development of a better antidote for cyanide poisoning. Their report, which describes a potential antidote that could be self-administered, much like the medication delivered by allergy injection pens, appears in ACS' Journal of Medicinal Chemistry.

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Steven E. Patterson, Ph.D., and colleagues at the University of Minnesota Center for Drug Design explain that the only existing antidotes for cyanide -- recognized as a high-risk substance for potential use by terrorists -- must be administered by intravenous infusion. That procedure requires highly trained paramedical personnel and takes time. Cyanide, however, is a fast-acting poison. In a situation involving mass casualties, only a limited number of victims could be saved. Patterson's team thus sought an antidote that could be administered by intra-muscular (IM) injection, a simpler procedure that could be administered rapidly to a large number of victims or even be self-administered.

Their report describes discovery of a substance, sulfanegen TEA, "which should be amenable for development as an IM injectable antidote suitable for treatment of cyanide victims in a mass casualty setting. Further development, including efficacy in lethal cyanide animal models, will be reported at a later date."

The authors acknowledge financial support from the National Institutes of Health through the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (award #UO1NS058087-05).


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Chemical Society. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Steven E. Patterson, Alexandre R. Monteil, Jonathan F. Cohen, Daune L. Crankshaw, Robert Vince, Herbert T. Nagasawa. Cyanide Antidotes for Mass Casualties: Water-Soluble Salts of the Dithiane (Sulfanegen) from 3-Mercaptopyruvate for Intramuscular Administration. Journal of Medicinal Chemistry, 2013; 130130114609002 DOI: 10.1021/jm301633x

Cite This Page:

American Chemical Society. "Toward a better cyanide antidote for terrorist attacks and other mass casualty events." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 30 January 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/01/130130112011.htm>.
American Chemical Society. (2013, January 30). Toward a better cyanide antidote for terrorist attacks and other mass casualty events. ScienceDaily. Retrieved March 6, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/01/130130112011.htm
American Chemical Society. "Toward a better cyanide antidote for terrorist attacks and other mass casualty events." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/01/130130112011.htm (accessed March 6, 2015).

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