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Anti-Smoking Vaccine Fails Testing In Late-Stage Trials

Cigarette smoking

Looks like smokers wanting to quit are going to have to stick to gum and patches for now.

In stage 3 clinical trials, an anti-smoking vaccine has failed miserably. Only 11 percent of smokers who received the vaccine quit within a year, an alarmingly low number. This was about the same amount of people who quit after receiving a placebo.

The vaccine, NicVax, has been the first anti-smoking and anti-nicotine vaccine to enter the third stage of clinical trials, which is the last stage before a drug hits the market. Similar vaccines are also being created to help addiction with cocaine and other hard drugs.

NicVax is designed to produce antibodies that attack nicotine in the bloodstream, preventing them from hitting the brain and releasing dopamine and other pleasure-related chemicals. If the nicotine doesn’t break the blood-brain barrier, the chemicals are not released, and the pleasure derived from lighting up a cigarette is never obtained.

Another stage 3 trial is expected to take place, with results available later this year or early next year. Expectations are much lower after these initial results. The company conducting the testing, Nabi, lost two-thirds of their value after the results were revealed, and the board is looking to cut costs and explore other alternatives, which, according to professionals, is expected to be code for “closing up shop.”

If a vaccine was released on the market to battle addiction, whether smoking or another addiction, would you consider trying it to assist in an addictive battle you may have?

Via NYTimes
Image via danieljordahl

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • http://twitter.com/NanoRaptor Dana Sibera

    While it wasn’t a vaccine, I used Zyban (wellbutrin/bupropion) to give up in 2000. That was incredible! over a period of two to three weeks, I gradually got less and less of a physiological reaction from smoking, and ended up simply forgetting to smoke. Pity, in a way, that it was only available for one prescription per person ever for giving up smoking, at the time – I took up cigs again a few years later and couldn’t use it again.

    Still, it was the easiest stop-smoking time I had, totally effortless, and I was lucky enough not to get side effects from it like some. If it were a vaccine that helped train my immune system to do similar, I’d be all for it.