Addiction is a treatable disease.

The National Institute on Drug abuse (NIDA) states that “Addiction is a chronic disease characterized by drug seeking and use that is compulsive, or difficult to control, despite harmful consequences.”

CVT-10216 transp
Human brain backgroung

Substance Misuse Disorder Facts

Use of alcohol, nicotine containing products, and illicit drugs remain high in modern American society. It is estimated that over half of the adult population use alcohol, nearly 1 in 10 smoke daily, and about 4% misuse opioids or have misused a central nervous system (CNS) stimulant in the form of cocaine or an amphetamine.



Deaths annually in America due to AUD

27.6 Million

Adult Americans diagnosed with AUD in 2020

$249 Billion

Economic cost of AUD in 2020

Substance Misuse is Undertreated

Highlighting the need for more effective and better tolerated treatments only 362,000 (1.3%) of patients with Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD) receiving treatment with a medication; only 16% received a drug to aid in their attempt to quit smoking; only 13% are treated with a medication who have opioid use disorder. There are no drugs approved for the treatment of cocaine or amphetamine use disorders.

Neurochemical Pathways

A primary factor in the development of addiction is neurophysiologic reinforcement (reward). Evidence of at least one central reward-reinforcement pathway involving the neurotransmitter dopamine exists for drug self-administration in the human brain. This pathway involves dopaminergic neurons that originate in the ventral tegmental area and project into the nucleus accumbens and forebrain. Release of dopamine from these neurons onto the dopamine receptors in the nucleus accumbens produces positive reinforcement and drives craving and addictive behavior.

Conditioned responses that trigger craving for addictive substances motivate drug-seeking behaviors often leading to heavy use. Indeed, strong cravings can persist long after drug use has stopped. Alcohol and other addictive agents stimulate an increase in dopamine levels in the nucleus accumbens that mediates reward or reinforcement processes in brain.

ALDH2 inhibition is the key

ALDH2 inhibition restores normal dopamine levels by a use-dependent negative feedback mechanism.

Selective ALDH2 inhibition reduced self-administration of various addictive chemicals including alcohol, nicotine, cocaine, and opiates. Furthermore, ALDH2 inhibition reduces cue-reinstatement (craving relapse) of alcohol, cocaine, methamphetamine, and heroin and compulsive binge eating. These findings are important for the treatment of SUD given that SUD is commonly associated with, or co-dependent use, of other addictive substances or compulsive disorders. We also discovered that selective inhibition of ALDH2 can reduce anxiety. These results indicate that an orally bioavailable, selective, and reversible ALDH2 inhibitor may help patients reduce their use of addictive drugs and anxiety.

Protein ALDH2

ALDH2 inhibition has shown to be effective in multiple models of Substance Use Disorders (SUD).

Behavior Model Result Reference
Alcohol Self Administration Arolfo MP, Alcohol Clin Exp Res (2009)
Alcohol Cue-Reinstatement / Relapse Arolfo MP, Alcohol Clin Exp Res (2009)
Nicotine Self Administration Rezvani A, Journal of Drug & Alc Rsch (2015)
Heroin Prime-Reinstatement / Relapse Report on file
Opiate Remifentanil Self Administration Rezvani A, Journal of Drug & Alc Rsch (2015)
Cocaine Self Administration Martin M, Psychopharmacology (2021)
Yao L, Nature Med (2010)
Cocaine Cue-Reinstatement / Relapse Martin M, Psychopharmacology (2021)
Yao L, Nature Med (2010)
Cocaine Prime-Reinstatement / Relapse Yao L, Nature Med (2010)
Methamphetamine Cue-Reinstatement / Relapse Yao L, Nature Med (2010)
Methamphetamine Locomotor and Biochemical Effects Kim S, ACS Chem Neurochem (2021)
Binge eating Overstreet DH, Pharmacol Biochem Behav (2009)
Anxiety Overstreet DH, Pharmacol Biochem Behav (2009)

Studies by ANS scientists and others provide validation of ANS technology.


A selective ALDH-2 inhibitor reduces anxiety in rats.

Pharmacology Biochemistry and Behavior. 2009