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October 14th, 2009
New Vaccine may make Quitting Smoking Easier

Forget hypnosis, gum, or those fake cigarettes–a more effective solution to quitting smoking is now in the final stages of development. A Maryland company has received a $10 million dollar grant from the National Institute on Drug Abuse to aid in the research of an anti-smoking vaccine.

The study is in phase III and will be completed by Nabi Biopharmeceuticals of Rockville and is one of the most advanced studies done for anti-smoking treatments. The potential vaccine will be appropriately named, NicVAX.

The vaccine is being created to help make quitting smoking easier and reduce the risk of a relapse without the need of prescription drugs. Institute director Dr. Nora D. Volkow says that the vaccine was given a “fast track designation from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. It has also gone through a successful proof study.

As of yet, the study is not guaranteeing that the vaccine will work. It is also not guaranteed federal approval if it is found successful. However, the researchers are optimistic.

The drug will work by alerting the immune system when there is nicotine in the body. Antibodies will connect to nicotine molecules, preventing them from reaching the brain. This will stop the nicotine high that smokers crave.

The study is only in the preliminary results, but it is becoming clearer that when smokers develop higher levels of antibodies in their bodies, it is more likely they will quit for good. Hardly any side effects were reported.

The vaccination will be effective for only 6 to 12 months after it is injected.

There is an estimated 400,000 tobacco related deaths each year in the United States.

To read more about NicVax, visit: http://www.nabi.com/pipeline/pipeline.php?id=3


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