The 2008 Frost & Sullivan Product Innovation Award for the U.S. Smoking Cessation Market went to Nabi Biopharmaceuticals, a Rockville, Maryland company, for its innovative and promising NicVAX® nicotine fighting vaccine. The company believes that it has developed a conjugate vaccine technology that allows the organism to develop immunologic response that would prevent the nicotine from crossing the blood brain barrier. Hence your beloved immunized tobacco abuser/nicotine addict would not get his usual high for many many months.
The company explains:
Nicotine is a small molecule that upon inhalation into the body quickly passes into the bloodstream and subsequently reaches the brain by crossing the blood-brain barrier. Once in the brain, the nicotine binds to specific nicotine receptors, which results in the release of stimulants, such as dopamine, providing the smoker with a positive sensation, which causes addiction. NicVAX is designed to stimulate the immune system to produce antibodies that bind to nicotine in the bloodstream and prevent it from crossing the blood-brain barrier and entering the brain. Therefore, the brain does not produce the positive-sensation stimulants as a response to nicotine. Pre-clinical animal studies with NicVAX have shown that vaccination could prevent nicotine from reaching the brain blocking the effects of nicotine, including effects that can lead to addiction or can reinforce and maintain addiction.
Nicotine addiction is difficult to treat effectively. We believe NicVAX has advantages over existing treatment therapies because its effect is irreversible for potentially six to 12 months following vaccination as antibodies to nicotine continue to be produced by the body’s immune system. This is important due to the extremely high relapse rate that has been observed when a smoker attempts to quit smoking. Currently, smokers being treated for nicotine addiction can stop using their therapy and resume their addiction.
In September 2005, we were awarded a $4.1 million grant by the U.S. National Institute on Drug Abuse, or NIDA, partially offsetting our funding requirements for the NicVAX development program.
Back in Sept. 2007, the company reported positive results from Phase 2b of the trial of NicVAX vaccine at nine months.
Product page: NicVAX® (Nicotine Conjugate Vaccine)…
Frost & Sullivan Best Practices Awards…