Anti-Smoking Vaccine Coming Soon – NicVAX


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If you have tried and failed to quit smoking in the past, then there may soon be a solution – get vaccinated.

A recent deal between pharmaceutical giants GlaxoSmithKline and Nabi Pharmaceuticals means that there is a strong chance that NicVAX, a quit smoking drug that was developed by Nabi may soon make it to market. No doubt there is some further testing to be carried out first.

GlaxoSmithKline Biologicals SA (GSK) and Nabi Biopharmaceuticals (Nabi) today announced an exclusive worldwide option and licensing agreement for a nicotine conjugate candidate vaccine (NicVAX(R)), an investigational vaccine for the treatment of nicotine addiction and the prevention of smoking relapse, as well as for the development of a second generation nicotine vaccine.

Under the terms of the agreement GSK will pay to Nabi an upfront non-refundable fee of $40 million at closing and will receive an option to exclusively in-license NicVAX on a worldwide basis and a license to develop follow-on next-generation nicotine vaccines using Nabi’s intellectual property.


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Together with the upfront payment, Nabi is eligible to receive over $500 million in option fees and regulatory, development and sales milestones for NicVAX and follow-on nicotine vaccines. Nabi will also receive double-digit royalties on global sales of NicVAX should GSK exercise its option as well as royalties on global sales of next generation nicotine vaccines. Source

The drug is injected in the patient and it then stimulates the immune system to produce antibodies that bind to nicotine. A nicotine molecule attached to an antibody is too large to cross the blood-brain barrier. Therefore, NicVAX blocks nicotine from reaching its receptors in the brain and prevents the highly-addictive pleasure sensation experienced by smokers and users of nicotine products.

“If approved, this smoking cessation vaccine technology could be a novel solution to help the millions of smokers who want to stop smoking and remain abstinent; a habit that is well documented to be very hard to stop permanently. This technology builds our capability in the therapeutic uses of vaccines and is a great addition to our smoking cessation portfolio.” Jean Stephenne, President of GSK Biologicals.

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