18-MC is in the early stages of human testing by the California-based drug development company Savant HWP. In 2002 the research team began raising funds for human trials, but were unable to secure the estimated $5 million needed. In 2010, Obiter Research, a chemical manufacturer in Champaign, Illinois, signed a patent license with Albany Medical College and the University of Vermont, allowing them the right to synthesize and market 18-MC and other congeners. In 2012 the National Institute on Drug Abuse gave a $6.5 million grant to Savant HWP for human trials.
A number of derivatives of 18-MC have been developed, with several of them being superior to 18-MC itself, the methoxyethyl congener ME-18-MC being more potent than 18-MC with similar efficacy, and the methylamino analogue 18-MAC being more effective than 18-MC with around the same potency. These compounds were also found to act as selective α3β4 nicotinic acetylcholine antagonists, with little or no effect on NMDA receptors.
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^Glick, SD; Ramirez, RL; Livi, JM; Maisonneuve, IM (2006). "18-Methoxycoronaridine acts in the medial habenula and/or interpeduncular nucleus to decrease morphine self-administration in rats". European Journal of Pharmacology. 537 (1–3): 94–8. doi:10.1016/j.ejphar.2006.03.045. PMID16626688.
^Taraschenko, OD; Shulan, JM; Maisonneuve, IM; Glick, SD (2007). "18-MC acts in the medial habenula and interpeduncular nucleus to attenuate dopamine sensitization to morphine in the nucleus accumbens". Synapse. 61 (7): 547–60. doi:10.1002/syn.20396. PMID17447255.