Could a vaccine prevent drug deaths and cure addiction? U.S. research draws mixed reaction in B.C.

published on January 27, 2022 by Liam Britten in CBC News

Some researchers believe vaccines could be a powerful new tool to fight substance use disorder and overdoses, but some experts are expressing caution about the idea.

Columbia University neurobiology professor Sandra Comer is one of the leaders of a project developing drug-specific vaccines to produce antibodies that target particular drugs.

Her team is in the early stages of human trials for an oxycodone vaccine.

“If the person ends up using oxycodone after they’ve received the vaccines, the antibody will bind to that chemical structure … and prevent it from getting into the brain,” Comer said.

“The person won’t experience the euphoric effects or the high that the oxycodone would produce.”

Collaborator Marco Pravetoni, an associate professor of pharmacology and medicine at the University of Minnesota, said a fentanyl vaccine has shown promising results preventing overdoses in animal trials…

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