Chicago: A vaccine helped block the high felt by cocaine users in 38 percent of people who took it, US researchers said on Monday, offering promise of a new approach to treating those addicted to the drug.The aim is to prevent cocaine`s rewarding effects -- the high -- in order to reduce cravings that trigger drug relapses."The concept works," Dr. Thomas Kosten of Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas, whose study appears in the Archives of General Psychiatry, said in a statement.
He has used a similar approach on a nicotine vaccine called TA-NIC now being tested in Europe. Both the cocaine and nicotine vaccines are being developed through private equity firm Celtic Pharma.Swiss drugmaker Novartis and Nabi Biopharmaceuticals of Rockville, Maryland, are also developing nicotine vaccines based on the same principle. Last week, Nabi won a $10 million grant from the NIDA to develop its NicVax vaccine. Kosten said he shared the results of the animal studies using Merck`s vaccine carrier with the company. "They are sufficiently impressed that they will probably make a nicotine product out of it," he said. Bureau Report