NicVAX ®, the next vaccine to stop smoking?
NicVAX ® is a vaccine candidate conjugate still experimental for the treatment of Nicotine dependence and relapse prevention.
NicVAX® tackles the "market" of smoking, the leading cause of preventable death worldwide. By affecting 1.2 billion smokers worldwide, smoking is responsible for 5.4 million deaths a year. Relapse remains a considerable challenge for smokers and the relapse rate reaches 90% in the year following the cessation.
The vaccine is designed to stimulate the immune system to produce antibodies that bind to nicotine. A nicotine molecule attached to an antibody is too big to cross the blood-brain barrier. As a result, NicVAX blocks prevent nicotine from reaching its receptors in the brain and at the same time prevents the sensation of pleasure experienced by smokers. Early clinical trials show that NicVAX has the ability to prevent nicotine from reaching the brain and may help quit smoking. Because the body's immune system can be stimulated to produce long-lasting antibodies, Nabi believes that the candidate vaccine could also be effective in preventing relapse.