Smoking-Cessation Vaccine

In the US alone, 400,000 deaths per year are linked to tobacco use. Fortunately, there might be a solution for that in the near future.

HealthDay News reported last October 12 that the National Institute on Drug Abuse has given a $12 million grant to company in Maryland to assist it in the final phases of its research on a possible anti-nicotine vaccine.

The research

Nabi Biopharmaceuticals will begin the third phase of its study of a potential vaccine called NicVax. The study could be the last step of the research if the vaccine works. It also represents the most advanced examination of an anti-smoking vaccine e.

This anti-smoking vaccine is created to help people quit smoking and not relapse. According to the statement issue by director Dr. Nora D. Volkow, the vaccine has received "fast track" designation from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and has survived a successful "proof-of-concept" study.

There is however, no guarantee that study will prove that the vaccine works. It is also not clear whether it will get federal approval.

How the vaccine works

The vaccine works by making the immune system act when it detects nicotine. This is based on the theory that antibodies will bond with the nicotine molecules and prevent them from reaching the brain where they provide the high smokers want.

So far, the results are still preliminary, but they indicate that smokers who acquire high levels of antibodies in their system are most likely to quit for good. Researchers also report few side effects, and expect the vaccine to work for 6-12 months after it is administered.

Source: MSN Health