Cocaine vaccine developed

Oct. 7, 2009 at 2:08 AM
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HOUSTON, Oct. 7 (UPI) -- Researchers in Texas say the next weapon in the fight against illegal drugs could be a vaccine.

The vaccine, aimed at stimulating the immune system to reduce the highs from cocaine, was developed by a psychiatry professor at Baylor College of Medicine, the Houston Chronicle reported Tuesday. A study found it appears to be effective in reducing drug use in many subjects.

"This is as good a scientific breakthrough as you're going to get," said Dr. Tom Kosten, who has spent 15 years working on the vaccine. "The study showed you can take something the body doesn't normally make antibodies to and prompt it to make a lot. Not that long ago, people in the field thought that was a stupid idea."

The National Institute on Drug Abuse is working on a similar vaccine to counteract the effects of nicotine, the newspaper said.

Kosten said vaccines could work on almost any abused drug except alcohol.

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