Quit Smoking Vaccine

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The Swiss biotechnology company Cytos AG has announced the arrival of the vaccine CYT002-NicQb to treat nicotine addiction. In fact, there is a buzz in the air that the smoking vaccine from Cytos is on the offing. The phase II clinical trial results were presented by Prof. Dr. Jacques Cornuz (CHUV Lausanne), principal investigator, at the Annual Meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) in Orlando, USA, has presented the Phase Two clinical trial results on behalf of the Study centers. The study only confirmed the efficacy of the vaccine.

The vaccine makes it much easier to quit smoking. In it, part of a protein is used that attracts an immune response to nicotine. Antibodies bind to nicotine and this prevents it from getting through to the brain. Without the 'high' from nicotine the incentive to smoke diminishes.

In the study, there are 341 smokers. The volunteers smoked between 10 to 40 cigarettes a day for at least three years. They were aged between 18 to 70 years of age. The smokers are assessed on safety, tolerability and efficacy of the vaccine. The percentage of smokers who achieved high levels of antibodies against nicotine after receiving the vaccine is 57%. They after receiving the vaccine stopped smoking completely for at least six months. Interesting is the fact that 31% of the people who received dummy vaccine also quit smoking. About 33% of those who developed lower levels of antibodies also quit smoking.

There are some minor side effects of the vaccine. It is redness and tenderness at the injection site. Other than that the vaccine is a great news for all those who are trying to quit but could not. There was also a large placebo effect with the vaccine.