Nicotine-Qß Vaccine

CRS performed a FiH clinical trial with the first Nicotine-Qß vaccine

CRS Kiel

Smoking cigarettes and related tobacco dependence is one of the leading causes of preventable physical disabilities and deaths worldwide, and nicotine is the dominant substance responsible for addiction to tobacco. Thus, in recent years, many researchers have focused on finding a vaccine against nicotine.

CRS performed the first in human (FiH) clinical trial to investigate the safety and tolerability of different doses of a Nicotine-Qß vaccine in healthy volunteers.

The results clearly confirm immunotherapy as a novel and feasible approach for the treatment of nicotine addiction.

Immunization – a novel approach against nicotine addiction

A novel approach has been adopted for immunization against nicotine, in which the vaccinated individual generates special antibodies, which are directed against free nicotine in the blood.

However, nicotine is a small non-immunogenic molecule. But when nicotine is conjugated to an immunogenic protein and presented to the human immune system it induces antibodies, which are directed against nicotine.

These antibodies bind nicotine and thereby prevent its passage through the blood-brain barrier. As a consequence, nicotine does not reinforce the nicotine addiction in the brain and the vaccinated person has no reward effect after smoking, thus breaking the vicious circle of nicotine addiction.

In this way, a new vaccine was developed based on a virus-like particle (VLP)-nicotine conjugate, which in fact provokes the expected antibody responses.