Thursday, January 03, 2008

Scientists testing vaccine for cocaine users

From the Globe and Mail:
Nothing says drug addiction more than a needle and syringe. But that's exactly what a team of U.S. researchers believes can help cocaine users kick their menacing habit.

Two Baylor College of Medicine scientists based in Houston have developed a cocaine vaccine that creates antibodies that bind to the drug and prevent it from travelling from the bloodstream to the brain.

Unable to penetrate the brain, the drug can produce no high.

If the vaccine makes it through regulatory hurdles, it would be the first medication approved to treat cocaine addiction.

“It certainly is a way of combining immunology that had not been used before,” Tom Kosten, a professor of psychiatry and neuroscience at Baylor, said in a telephone interview yesterday. “We had always thought of altering the brain as a way to prevent drug abuse. This way, the drug never gets into the brain to begin with.” ...more

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