Anti-nicotine vaccine undergoes trials

Scientists have started first trials on an anti-nicotine vaccine. The main goal is to learn if the drug can deprive smokers of the habit’s pleasures.

The drug is owned by Independent Pharmaceutica, a private company based at Stockholm 's Karolinska Institute, that aims to provide pharmacological solutions for treatment of nicotine addiction.

Tobacco use is the leading preventable cause of morbidity and premature death in the world. Currently over 1.2 billion people smoke worldwide and the number of annual deaths from tobacco-related diseases is over 4 million and rising. The costs for society are huge.

With the new vaccine Niccine® against nicotine addiction, the health condition of millions of patients is expected to be improved.

Researchers claim that the vaccine creates antibodies that bind to nicotine molecules, making them too bulky to enter the brain.

The vaccine will be used primarily to avoid relapse in those who have quitted smoking. Later on it may be used to help active smokers quit.