About My Health Careers Internship MedBlogs Contact us
Medindia LOGIN REGISTER
Advertisement

Heroin Vaccine To Treat Addiction and Reduce Overuse of Opioids

by Julia Samuel on February 15, 2018 at 3:55 PM
Font : A-A+

Heroin Vaccine To Treat Addiction and Reduce Overuse of Opioids

A safe and effective vaccine to both treat heroin addiction and block lethal overdose of the drug has been developed.

The new anti-heroin formulation is safe in animal models remains stable at room temperature for at least 30 days. As a result, the vaccine is close to being ready for human testing.

Advertisement


"The heroin vaccine is one step closer to clinical evaluation," says Candy S. Hwang, PhD, first author of the study and a research associate at TSRI.

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, 15,446 Americans died from heroin overdose between 2000 and 2016, and the mortality rates are increasing. Heroin abuse has been further fueled by a rise in prescription opioid abuse--studies show that opioid pain reliever users are 40 times more likely to abuse heroin.
Advertisement

The first formulation of the heroin vaccine was developed in 2013 by a team led by Kim D. Janda, PhD, the Ely R. Callaway Jr. Professor of Chemistry and member of the Skaggs Institute for Chemical Biology at TSRI. It has been shown to be effective--and safe--in both mouse and non-human primate models.

The vaccine works by training the immune system antibodies to recognize and bind to heroin molecules, blocking the drug from reaching the brain to cause a "high." Researchers believe that blocking the high of heroin will help eliminate the motivation for many recovering addicts to relapse into drug use.

The heroin molecule does not naturally prompt an antibody response, so researchers attach it to a carrier protein that alerts the immune system to start making antibodies. Scientists also add an ingredient called an adjuvant to the vaccine, which boosts the immune response and makes the vaccine more effective.

Hwang says, "Our goal was to prepare a vaccine that could be advanced to clinical trials. As such, we were looking for the best combination of 'hapten' (the heroin molecule), carrier protein and adjuvant to keep the vaccine both stable for transport and storage but still efficacious."

For the new study, the researchers investigated how 20 different carrier protein/adjuvant combinations worked, including shelf stability based on temperature and storage time and whether the formulation was a liquid or powder.

Their experiments in rodent models showed that the best vaccine formulation contained a carrier protein called tetanus toxoid (TT) and adjuvants called alum and CpG ODN.

The discovery that alum worked best as an adjuvant was especially significant since alum is one of the few adjuvants used in vaccines already approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The researchers also found that there was no difference in how well it worked between the liquid and powder versions of this formulation.

Hwang notes that the best vaccine formulation showed protection against lethal doses of heroin. This is particularly important as many heroin addicts have succumbed to overdose and death during their attempts to quit the drug.

With this new study, the researchers have shown that the vaccine is safe and effective in animal models, stable under clinical conditions and reliant on an already-approved adjuvant. The next step is to find a producer to make the vaccine on a large scale.

"We believe that a heroin vaccine would be tremendously beneficial for people who have a heroin substance use disorder but have found difficulty in trying to quit," says Hwang.

Source: Eurekalert
Advertisement

Advertisement
News A-Z
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
Advertisement
News Category
What's New on Medindia
International Day of Persons with Disabilities 2021 - Fighting for Rights in the Post-COVID Era
Effect of Blood Group Type on COVID-19 Risk and Severity
Woman with Rare Spinal Cord Defect from Birth Sues Doctor
View all

Medindia Newsletters Subscribe to our Free Newsletters!
Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.

More News on:
Cannabis Drug Abuse Screening Test Drug Abuse Drug Detox Vaccination for Children Painkiller Addiction Top 10 Vaccine Myths Debunked Prescription Drug Abuse Drugs to Treat Tobacco / Nicotine Addiction Pyromania (Impulse Control Disorder) 

Recommended Reading
Drug Detox
Drug detoxification (or drug detox) is a process that helps drug addicts to give up drugs with less ...
Prescription Drug Abuse
Prescription drug abuse is consuming prescription medications in a way different from that as ......
Difficulty in Breathing may Result from Opioid Addiction Medications
Obese patients may have breathing problems after taking buprenorphine, a drug used in the treatment ...
Why Do Some Opioid Drugs Cause Severe Itching?
Opioid drugs used for the treatment of pain can cause severe itching because of a receptor MRGRPX2 ....
Cannabis
Cannabis has a long history of medicinal, recreational, and industrial use and comes from a bushy pl...
Drug Abuse
The use of Drugs for reasons other than its prescribed recommendation, is known as Drug abuse or sub...
Drugs to Treat Tobacco / Nicotine Addiction
Smokers use tobacco or nicotine regularly in spite of being aware of negative health consequences. N...
Painkiller Addiction
Painkiller addiction is the use of prescription painkillers in a way not meant by the prescribing do...
Pyromania (Impulse Control Disorder)
Pyromania is an impulse control disorder that involves the tendency to start fires with no ulterior ...
Top 10 Vaccine Myths Debunked
Childhood vaccination has saved many lives, yet lots more has to be done to increase awareness and e...
Vaccination for Children
Vaccines are biological products that impart immunity to the recipient. Vaccines may be live attenua...

Disclaimer - All information and content on this site are for information and educational purposes only. The information should not be used for either diagnosis or treatment or both for any health related problem or disease. Always seek the advice of a qualified physician for medical diagnosis and treatment. Full Disclaimer

© All Rights Reserved 1997 - 2021

This site uses cookies to deliver our services. By using our site, you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Cookie Policy, Privacy Policy, and our Terms of Use