anti-cocaine vaccine tests begin

By adzket · Nov 20, 2008 · ·
  1. adzket
    Anti-cocaine vaccine tests begin

    Researchers in Spain, which has the highest rate of cocaine use in the European Union, will test a vaccine next year that they hope will help addicts break free of their addiction to the drug, health officials said Thursday.

    The vaccine will be tested on 164 people at a dozen hospitals during the first half of next year, Carmen Moya Garcia, an epidemiologist who heads the health ministry's National Plan on Drugs, told a news conference.
    It does not eliminate the craving for cocaine but will stop addicts experiencing a high when they take it.

    The vaccine causes protein molecule to be attached to cocaine molecules, which stimulates the body's immune system to produce antibodies that recognize the drug and prevent it from reaching the brain, said psychiatrist Carlos Alvarz Vara.
    "Patients do not feel anything when they consume the drug and become frustrated that they spent their money for nothing," he said.
    The clinical trial, which was approved by the European Medical Agency, could be extended to other European countries.

    Last year 22,000 Spaniards requested treatment for their addiction to cocaine from hospitals and doctors.
    The treatment of cocaine addiction now mostly involves psychiatric counseling and 12-step programs.
    Experts say that the typical addict is a young professional male, between the ages of 15 and 34 years old.

    Spain is Europe's main entry point for cocaine from South America, mostly from its former colony Colombia, the world's top producer of the drug.
    Law enforcement officials say the country has also become a key European money laundering center for Colombian cocaine cartels.
    Over 8,000 people were jailed in Spain last year in Spain for cocaine trafficking.

    publised 20/11/08
    found on bt news site.

    swim thinks this will be a good thing if it works.:thumbsup:

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  1. Abrad
    Until someone decides that mandatory vaccinations for the entire population is good...
  2. Heretic.Ape.
    ^ My thoughts exactly. Also it says that it does not stop cravings, only the high. Sounds cruel.
  3. adzket
    is that any diffirent to some treatments for h addicts also it would of course by not geting high stop user spending all there time and money and they could not make it manditory due to pain meds needing to be used.
  4. Heretic.Ape.
    I can imagine someone with serious cravings becoming desperate and trying to get some amount of high through increased dosage, which could lead to over-doses. People have done more reckless and un-thought-out things than this when it comes to addiction.
  5. adzket
    true thats why counsiling and psyco-social needs taking care of to @ least it is a new option as there has not been many to my knowlage for coke addiction.
  6. Motorhead
    'Vaccine' may block cocaine effects

    'Vaccine' may block cocaine effects

    Vaccine-like shots to keep cocaine abusers from getting high also helped them fight their addiction in the first successful rigorous study of this approach to treating illicit drug use.

    The shots didn't work perfectly, but the researchers say their limited success is promising enough to suggest the intriguing vaccine approach could be widely used to treat addiction within several years.

    "It is such an important study. It clearly demonstrates … that it is possible to generate vaccine that could interfere with cocaine actions in the brain," said Dr. Nora Volkow, director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse, which funded the study.

    The results come just days after that government agency announced plans for the first late-stage study of an experimental nicotine vaccine designed to help people quit smoking. The NicVAX vaccine has been fast-tracked by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, and the research will be paid for with federal stimulus money.

    The cocaine and nicotine vaccines both use the same approach, stimulating the immune system to produce antibodies that attach to molecules of the drugs and block them from reaching the brain.

    In the new study, cocaine-fighting antibodies helped prevent users from getting a euphoric high and led nearly 40 per cent of them to substantially cut back or stop cocaine use at least temporarily.

    With more than two million cocaine abusers nationwide and no federally approved treatment, the results "are good enough — better than having nothing," said lead author Dr. Thomas Kosten of Baylor College of Medicine in Houston.

    He developed the vaccine used in the study.

    The study appears in October's Archives of General Psychiatry.

    Limited success

    Volkow said the research exemplifies a "transformative" perspective on drug addiction.

    "By targeting it as a medical disease as opposed to a moral dilemma, we're likely to come up with solutions that have a much longer impact," she said.

    The research involved 115 cocaine abusers also addicted to heroin who sought methadone treatment at a New Haven, Conn., clinic. Methadone treats heroin addiction, not cocaine, but it requires repeat clinic visits. That made it easier for the researchers to work with and track the cocaine abusers, Kosten said.

    Over 12 weeks, nearly all participants got five shots of cocaine vaccine or a dummy substance. They were followed for an additional 12 weeks. All participants also attended weekly relapse-prevention therapy sessions, had their blood tested for antibodies and their urine tested for cocaine and heroin.

    Overall, 21 vaccine patients — 38 per cent — developed cocaine antibody levels high enough to prevent a cocaine high. In this group, 53 per cent stopped using cocaine more than half the time during the study, versus 23 per cent of those with lower antibody levels.

    Despite the limited success, the results are exciting and show that the vaccine approach is a good one, said Dr. Kyle Kampman, a University of Pennsylvania addiction researcher who was not involved in the study.

    "We need novel approaches because cocaine dependence is a disease that has been very difficult to treat," Kampman said.

    Associated Press
    Oct 6, 2009
  7. Synchronium
    Re: 'Vaccine' may block cocaine effects

    Sounds dangerous if you're physically addicted to the substance, where you might die from not taking it.
  8. Mdubzui
    Cocaine vaccine may reduce 'use'

    [h1]Cocaine vaccine may reduce 'use'[/h1]

    A vaccine to treat cocaine use helps some addicts to halve their dependency on the drug, researchers say.
    Doctors at Yale University School of Medicine gave the vaccine to 55 cocaine addicts and found that 38% were able to achieve the necessary antibody levels.
    Animal and human studies have suggested that high levels of anti-cocaine antibodies in the blood can stop addicts experiencing a high.
    But the researchers say the addicts would need repeat injections.
    The study published in the journal of the American Medical Association says the Yale doctors conducted a 24 week trial of an experimental vaccine.
    Randomly assigned
    A total of 115 cocaine and opiate-dependent individuals were enrolled and randomly assigned to receive five vaccinations of the active vaccine or five vaccinations of a dummy treatment over 12 weeks.

    [​IMG] They don't destroy, they neutralize the cocaine and make it vulnerable to a cholinesterase enzyme which will then break it down [​IMG]

    Dr Thomas Korsten, Baylor College of Medicine

    Cocaine is flushed out the body in about three days so the doctors tested all the addicts urine for metabolised cocaine three times a week for 24 weeks.
    Of the 55 people who completed the course 21 (38%) attained antibody levels of 43 micrograms per millilitre or higher.
    Those with that level of antibodies had significantly more cocaine-free urine samples (45%) between week nine and 16 of the study than individuals who had lower antibodies (35%) and those who received dummy treatments.

    Cocaine use halved
    The proportion of participants who reduced their cocaine use by half was significantly greater among those treated with the active vaccine - 53% compared to 23% in the placebo group.
    The researchers said about 40% of the participants achieved antibody levels of 20 micrograms per millilitre.
    They said this was enough to combat one to two doses of cocaine which should be enough to prevent relapses in many patients.
    Dr Thomas Korsten, of Baylor College of Medicine who started the study while he was at Yale, said: "While these antibodies are in the blood targeting cocaine - the drug does not have an effect.
    "They don't destroy, they neutralize the cocaine and make it vulnerable to a cholinesterase enzyme which will then break it down.
    "The vaccine binds the cocaine so that it can't effect the brain, the heart or any other organ.
    "This is the first successful placebo controlled test of a vaccine for cocaine."

    Two years of treatment
    The adverse events associated with the vaccine were mild to moderate with the most frequent complaint being hardening and tenderness at the injection site.
    Dr Korsten said: "We think most people will need two years of treatment with the vaccine - bearing in mind there is an average six to eight years of abuse before they come for treatment.
    "It's only at week eight that we get full levels of blocking antibodies.
    "We have already tried the vaccine with a different carrier supplied by Merck Pharmaceuticals - this is based on the meningitis virus and it is provoking much better levels of antibodies.
    "We are excited because of all the other drugs we can design antibody vaccines for.
    "All the other drugs of addiction should work except alcohol because that molecule is too small to make an antibody to it."

  9. Abrad
    Re: 'Vaccine' may block cocaine effects

    Cocaine is not physically addictive. Highly unethical if the eventual plan is to immunise children against drug use, which I would suspect it is.
  10. Terrapinzflyer
    Re: 'Vaccine' may block cocaine effects

    From what turtle has read on this the vaccine is only useful for those that already have an addiction and can not be used on those that do not.

    This vaccine has been in development for years, and while its been getting a lot of press the past few days if one researches it a bit you will find the results are on par with placebo. Turtle thinks this is pr from the drug maker trying to keep their stock price from collapsing again.
  11. Motorhead
    Re: 'Vaccine' may block cocaine effects

    This is one Orwellian possibility. However, I view it as a positive. One of the major reasons drugs like cocaine, heroin, and methamphetamine are scheduled as they are and prohibited as such is their highly addictive nature.

    If research like this continues and becomes successful in eradicating addiction and all the personal and social ills that ultimately follow, then there may be enough incentive to, at the very least, tone down the costly and ineffective 'War on Drugs'.

    Of course all this research is very preliminary and addiction isn't going away anytime soon. Considering the current political and public attitude towards hard drugs the situation you posit is in fact very probable.
  12. Nnizzle
    Re: 'Vaccine' may block cocaine effects

    What kind of a statistic is that? Half of a third of the patients stopped using half the time? Sounds like normal deviation to me.
  13. Mona Lisa
    Re: 'Vaccine' may block cocaine effects

    Also wouldn't surprise me if they decided to start immunizing children to help avoid future drug addiction. It is Orwellian though. Also wonder if the vaccine might ironically make people more sensitive to other sorts of euphorias though, ironically enough, or have a rebound effect after a period of time...
  14. Synchronium
    Re: 'Vaccine' may block cocaine effects

    Hence me saying substance, not cocaine.

    Interesting thoughts on the potential for this though. Not something that even crossed my mind.

    They had a control group. It's very likely that the (absolutely) low percentages reported were significantly higher than the control group, otherwise their null hypothesis would remain unproven, and hence not newsworthy.
  15. Nnizzle
    Re: 'Vaccine' may block cocaine effects

    True... wish they would post that part of the experiment so that we can intrepret it ourselves. Sometimes the media doesn't give all the information for a reason.
  16. chinpokomaster
    Re: 'Vaccine' may block cocaine effects

    I know, let's immunise people against voting for certain political parties and thinking certain ways. Then after they've been immunised, they can vote for "who they want". :thumbsup:
  17. Dr.Evil
    Re: 'Vaccine' may block cocaine effects

    This article is kind of misleading. The approach they are using won't be developing an actual vaccine against a drug. They are just applying the practice of immunochemistry to drug addiction therapy. Immunochemistry is the development of antibodies that will bind to your specific molecular target (cocaine in this instance) which is usually used to visualize it. Having this antibody in you system would stop the "high" by making cocaine unable to bind to its receptors, but there is a big problem.

    Antibodies are degraded in between 3-4 weeks. To be truly immune to the drugs affect you would have to get injected with the antibodies for the rest of your life. If you were injected for a long enough time it would give you no reason to use the drug which could help some people, but you would still have the same withdrawals and possibility of relapse.

    In SWIMs opinion the pharm industry is just preying on the ignorant consumer to get more money for R&D.
  18. Synchronium
    Re: 'Vaccine' may block cocaine effects

    The original article says:

    So no injection of antibodies is happening. This "vaccine" is probably something like a tiny globular protein, with lots of cocaine molecules attached to it. When that gets injected into you, your B lymphocytes start to produce their own antibodies.

    While it's true that antibodies do get degraded, memory B cells keep shitting them out for ages after, hence my own immunity to chicken pox. I imagine they're going after that lifelong immunity.
  19. Motorhead
    Re: 'Vaccine' may block cocaine effects

    Does anyone have a subscription to the Archives of General Psychiatry? The PDF for the study is posted there. It would have all the statistical and pharmacological data there for us.
  20. Synchronium
    Re: 'Vaccine' may block cocaine effects

    Can't get the paper itself, but here's the abstract:

    My speculation above was correct.

    The full paper would still be useful though.
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