This is great news for me! I’ve been wanting to quit smoking for years and this vaccine may be the answer for me to finally put down this addiction that I’ve had in years.
CBS News reports:
Dr. Ronald G. Crystal, chairman and professor of Genetic Medicine at Weill Cornell Medical College in New York City. Crystal’s team has announced they’ve successfully tested a new vaccine that may treat nicotine addiction.
Much like vaccines for diseases that create antibodies to fight infection, the vaccine creates antibodies against nicotine. However, previous attempts at similar vaccines have failed because within a few weeks the antibodies are gone, which won’t exactly help people stay smoke-free.
Crystal’s team developed a vaccine that contains a virus consisting of a genetic sequence they engineered from a nicotine antibody, and injected it into the liver of mice. The injection genetically modifies the liver to churn out nicotine antibodies, along with other cells it typically makes, thus providing a nicotine antibody “factory” in the body. That suggests the effect won’t diminish over time like that of other antibodies. The antibodies then work by targeting the nicotine cells within seconds of exposure and preventing them from reaching receptors in the brain that provide the “chill out” feeling, as Crystal called it.
“The antibodies are little Pac-men that like nicotine and just gobble it up,” Crystal said.