NicVax will be the first ever nicotine vaccine available on the market should the phase III trials currently underway come out positive. The vaccine being researched by the pharmaceutical giant Nabi Bio-pharmaceuticals is expected to help millions of smokers to stop smoking when it hits the market possibly in early 2012.
Essentially NicVax works by making nicotine molecules too big to cross the blood brain barrier. Tobacco smokers get addicted to smoking because nicotine creates a dependency in the brain. When nicotine enters the brain it causes a chain reaction which leads to the release of dopamine a neurotransmitter that brings great yet temporary pleasure to smokers. The longer a smoker uses nicotine the sooner they will get permanently addicted to smoking tobacco.
Nabi is attempting to stop this chain reaction by preventing nicotine from ever reaching the brain in the first place. The medical mechanism of preventing this involves making nicotine molecules in the bloodstream over sized so much that they fail to cross the crucial barrier to enter the brain. If this is achieved as has been found out in the first phases of the research, smoking will be a fruitless exercises bringing absolutely no pleasure to the smoker.
Those who are currently smoking will find no reason to continue smoking. Those who try to start under the vaccination will not be able to get addicted. There will be no addiction and no pleasure. NicVax will by no means stop the deadly effects of tobacco smoke in a person’s lungs. Its only role will be to break the addiction behind the tobacco smoking. The dangers of smoking will still remain a grave reality for those who continue smoking for the habit’s sake even without deriving any mental pleasure as is the case right now.
The vaccine will be possibly administered by injection once a year. The FDA is keeping a close eye on the research work around the vaccine. Nabi still faces a huddle to cross after a positive phase III is concluded. It will still require to get a go ahead from the FDA to begin manufacturing. As of September 2010 the company had already identified and signed up vaccine manufacturer should things go according to plan. Nabi is poised to earn over $500million from the manufacturing of the vaccine at a commercial scale.
The successful arrival of Nicvax as a nicotine vaccine will undoubtedly offer millions of people yet another alternative to stop smoking products that currently feel the market. Many of these smoking cessation products have performed so dismally for many patients they are desperate for something more effective. Some of the drugs also available on the market have dreadful side effects that many are not willing or non longer willing to contend with.
Disappointments with current smoking cessation aids have included addiction to nicotine gum and nicotine patches. Due to this addiction even though rare some have continued smoking. The massive uptake of electronic cigarettes as an alternative stop smoking product also indicates the market readiness to embrace something new with better and non disappointing promise. By late 2011 the world will know if NicVax is the way to go. relx 電子煙