Cocaine vaccine prevents drug from reaching brain

Scientists at the Baylor College of Medicine are developing a novel cocaine vaccine that can prevent users from feeling the addictive high they would normally get from the drug. One of the challenges to creating a cocaine vaccine is that the immune system doesn't recognize the drug when it enters the system. Dr. Tom Kosten and is wife, Therese, a psychologist and neuroscientist, attached inactivated cocaine to inactivated cholera proteins, which trains the immune system to recognize and attack cocaine when it is delivered. By binding antibodies to the drug, the researchers say they can prevent the molecules from reaching the brain, halting any drug effect. They're waiting for the FDA to respond to a request to mount a trial for the vaccine.

"Addiction vaccines are a promising advance, but it's unlikely any treatment in this field will work for everyone," Dr. David Gorelick, a senior investigator at the National Institute on Drug Abuse, told the Associate Press. "Still, if they prove successful, they will give those working in drug addiction an important option."

- here's the AP report for more info