Drug Companies Stay Away From Vaccine that Fights Cocaine Addiction

Tuesday, July 26, 2011
Therese and Tom Kosten
Dr. Thomas Kosten and his wife, Therese, have spent 20 years developing a vaccine for cocaine addiction. The drug works for some people, the Kostens say, but for others it has an unfortunate tendency to make them consume even more of the narcotic.
The cocaine vaccine is currently in a Phase II clinical trial which is scheduled to end in 2014. But going any further with the drug is impossible unless a pharmaceutical company wants to sell the vaccine, and reaching that stage is equally difficult because of what the remedy does to some users.
During the Phase I trial, some volunteers developed immunities to cocaine and lost the urge to do it. Others, however, still felt the need to get high, but that proved challenging because of the vaccine’s effects. Consequently, this latter group wound up having more cocaine in their blood stream than antibodies—and that fact could prove to be a public relations nightmare for any drug company that tries to sell the vaccine.
-Noel Brinkerhoff
Methamphetamine Nicotine Cocaine Vaccine (by Laura Madden-Fuentes, Baylor College of Medicine)


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