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Nicotine vaccine is set to stub out smoking

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Nicotine vaccine is set to stub out smoking

By Sam Lister, Health Correspondent

SCIENTISTS will today unveil results from the first large-scale human trial into a vaccine for nicotine which could see people immunised against addictions to smoking within the next five years.

A Swiss pharmaceutical company will reveal the outcome of a six-month vaccine trial of 300 volunteers, all of whom were heavy smokers before receiving injections to counter the habit.

Addiction experts said last night that the closely-guarded results, which are to be set out at the American Society of Clinical Oncology’s annual meeting in Orlando, Florida, were likely to be positive and could prove a watershed in the quest to introduce a nicotine vaccine.

Cytos Biotechnology is the first to report back on a large group trial of the drug, but two other firms, including Cambridge-based Xenova Research, are to launch similar studies imminently.

The three trial drugs, which are taken as a course of between four and six injections, work by stimulating the production of antibodies in the blood. These antibodies stop nicotine from entering the brain and producing the addictive sensation craved by smokers.

The body’s immune system does not normally react to nicotine, but scientists have combined the chemical with a protein to trigger a “blockingâ€

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