A new vaccine under test may offer another solution to help opioid users with addictions.
Marco Pravetoni (associate professor of pharmacology, medicine, University of Minnesota Medical School) said that he has been involved in substance abuse all his life.
Pravetoni, who has been working at the University of Minnesota on a vaccine against opioid abuse for over a decade, is still in progress.
He explained that the vaccine is a synthetic vaccine made of the target opioid and a carrier immunegenic protein.
The vaccine makes antibodies against oxycodone.
He said that the antibodies would be specific for target opioids.
Sandra Comer, the director of Columbia University’s Opioid Laboratory, said that the antibodies will bind to the opioid molecule and stop it from reaching the brain. This should reduce the effects of oxycodone.
Comer stated that this prevents the drug’s “high” and rewarding qualities.
Comer leads the clinical trials. The FDA has approved Phase 1 of the clinical trials for the vaccine against oxycodone addiction.
She stated that “the phase 1 study is mainly focused on safety.” “The study is expected to enroll 12-24 subjects. Then we’ll see what they want us to do next.
The vaccine can be used in conjunction with existing treatments.
Comer stated that the combination of vaccine and methadone will provide some protection for people who relapse after a few months.
Emergency doctor Dr. Donald Stader said he can see that this new, new solution is helpful.
He said, “We don’t know if it will be significant for our patient population but we think it shows promise.” “We know that even amid the COVID pandemic we are currently facing, opioid addiction is still the number one killer of Americans under the age of 50.”
“We see the bliss of the opioid crisis every day in terms of patients who have overdosed, in terms of patients who come to us for withdrawal symptoms, or patients who come to us for help with an opioid use disorder. Dr. Stader stated that the opioid crisis has gotten worse over the last two-years.