Nicotine Addiction: What Lights Up the Field

Dec 01, 2010



The market for anti-smoking products exceeds $2 billion, but their superiority over cold-turkey quitting remains controversial. The first vaccines are set to offer a new weapon in the fight against nicotine addiction. Long-lasting single injections, these new vaccines remove the hurdle of daily adherence while sparking the immune system to produce nicotine-specific antibodies that aggregate nicotine in the bloodstream, resulting in a nicotine complex too large to cross the blood-brain barrier where the reward system awaits. Denying the pleasure of the fix may indirectly help minimize the craving that accompanies quitting smoking. Although Nabi Biopharma/GSK's NicVAX is on schedule to beat Novartis' NIC-002 to market, the Swiss firm's vax is expected to grab a larger market share because of its greater efficacy—and Novartis' marketing muscle, says Datamonitor's Ben Greenacre.