Successful trial of Heroin addiction vaccine

Successful trial of Heroin addiction vaccine
Published: 2013 May 07 19:05:08 (8749 Views)
Heroin addiction and the misery it inflicts could soon be a thing of the past – thanks to a simple injection.

The class A drug and its effects on the brain are counteracted by a vaccine administered through a jab that has successfully been tested in preclinical trials on rats.

Test subjects trained to pull a lever to get a heroin 'fix' not only stopped while receiving the vaccine; they continued to stay away from the drug.

If the vaccine works as well in human trials it could provide a way out for the 10million people held in the grip of heroin addiction worldwide.

It was developed by the The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) in the US.

TSRI chairman Prof George Koob said: 'Heroin-addicted rats deprived of the drug will normally resume using it compulsively if they regain access, but our vaccine stops this from happening.'



It is one of several vaccines against drug abuse developed by TSRI scientists and others since the 1990s.

Vaccines for cocaine and nicotine uses are already at the clinical testing stage and one for methamphetamine is almost ready for such tests.

Designing a heroin vaccine has been difficult because the drug quickly breaks down in the bloodstream after it is injected.

Initial tests in 2011 showed the vaccine could block some acute effects such as obstructing pain.
Researchers have now put the vaccine through more rigorous tests.

Dr Joel Scholsberg, the first study's author, said: 'For human patients, the vaccine would be given with other treatments.'





Source - Metro

Tags: heroin, vaccine,
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