Health

anti-nicotine vaccine, anti-smoking drug, NicVax

Antismoking Vaccine Ready for Trial in Scandinavia

July 23, 2008 03:06 PM
by Rachel Balik
Swedish scientists are to begin human trials for an antismoking drug that many authorities think may be the best available cure for nicotine addiction.

30-Second Summary

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A new nicotine vaccination would create antibodies that prevent nicotine from entering the brain. In Scandinavia, scientists are set to begin human trials of the vaccine, which has already performed well in U.S. clinical trials.

The theory behind the drug is that the pleasure of cigarette smoking derives from nicotine entering the brain. The vaccination would ultimately wean smokers off the physical addiction to nicotine. But one European smoker told Reuters that he is unconvinced: “the mental craving will still be there, and there’s no vaccine against that.”

In the U.S, the antismoking vaccine NicVAX has been in clinical trials since 2006, when it was fast-tracked by the FDA. Although the drug has not yet been approved, trials are yielding promising results. In the earliest trial, 40 percent of vaccinated patients quit smoking as opposed to 9 percent of those who received a placebo. Scientists believe the vaccination could become a integral part of treating smoking addiction. “This key development—the success of a smoking cessation vaccine—could have an important impact on how we address smoking and smoking relapse,” Dr. Dorothy Hatsukami of the University of Minnesota Tobacco Use Research Center said.

Headline Link: 'Antismoking Vaccine on Trial'

Background: NicVAX in the United States

Related Topic: Government recommends antismoking drug with dangerous side effects

Reference: NicVAX and quitting smoking

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