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Immunopharmacotherapy as a treatment for nicotine addiction

Institution: Scripps Research Institute
Investigator(s): Kim Janda, Ph.D.
Award Cycle: 2002 (Cycle 11) Grant #: 11RT-0174 Award: $515,270
Subject Area: Nicotine Dependence
Award Type: Research Project Awards

Initial Award Abstract
Many people smoke and use other tobacco products. The scientific reason for this is because the nicotine found in tobacco is very addictive. Tobacco use is a drug addiction. Unfortunately, smoking and other tobacco use causes more than 420,000 unnecessary deaths in the United States every year. Clearly, it is important to find a treatment to help people break the addiction to nicotine.

Usually smokers try nicotine gum and nicotine skin patches to help wean themselves off of nicotine to stop smoking. Both of these methods do not work well. Since there is now no medical solution for nicotine addiction, new ways must be discovered. One way would be to use antibodies to soak up the nicotine inhaled by smoking or consumed by chewing tobacco. Antibodies are a part of the natural immune system and are able to bind to substances and remove them from the body. Antibodies against nicotine would stop nicotine from reaching the brain. This would prevent addiction. Unlike other drug treatments, using antibodies would have no serious side effects. With this method and some counseling, people could successfully kick the smoking and nicotine habit.

The goals of our medical research are to make antibodies in the laboratory that bind nicotine. These antibodies could be used by people for protection against the effects of nicotine. The antibodies are injected into the bloodstream or dispensed from portable inhalers to soak up nicotine in the lungs. In the latter case, this would be similar to the inhalers used by asthma sufferers. We will test our method in rats. Our laboratory has ample experience in chemistry and immunology. Additionally, we are able to do the rat testing in a proper, safe and humane way. Our laboratory is sufficiently equipped to accomplish and thus achieve our goals. The technology we detail is a powerful new treatment for nicotine addiction and should provide a positive impact on the lives of many humans.

Investigations using immunization to attenuate the psychoactive effects of nicotine.
Periodical: Bioorganic Medical Chemistry Index Medicus:
Authors: Carrera MRA, Ashley JA, Hoffman TZ, Wirsching P, Koob GF, Janda KD ART
Yr: 2003 Vol: 12 Nbr: Abs: Pg: 563-570

Development of immunopharmacotherapy against drugs of abuse.
Periodical: Current Drug Discovery Technologies Index Medicus:
Authors: Meijler MM, Matsushita M, Wirsching P, Janda KD ART
Yr: 2004 Vol: 1 Nbr: Abs: Pg: 77-79

A new strategy for improved nicotine vaccines using conformationally constrained haptens
Periodical: Journal of the American Chemistry Society Index Medicus:
Authors: Janda KD ART
Yr: 2003 Vol: 125 Nbr: Abs: Pg: 7164-7165