Image by Steve Buissinne from Pixabay

Cocaine addiction vaccine enters final stages of testing

A revolutionary cocaine addiction vaccine is entering final stages of testing, and will ready for rollout imminently.


Image by Steve Buissinne from Pixabay

In light of Durban’s recent multi-million Rand narcotics bust, news of a cocaine addiction vaccine couldn’t be better timed. The Citizen via AFP, has reported that a cocaine addiction vaccine is well into development in Brazil. Good news is it could be available imminently.

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Brazil is credited as one of the world’s top consumers of the highly addictive narcotic (second after the United States). And scientists from the South America have announced an innovative cocaine addiction vaccine.


Cocaine addiction vaccine
Brazilian cocaine A 29-year-old alleged drug mule was arrested at OR Tambo. Image: Pixabay.

The test vaccine, called ‘Calixcoca’, has shown promising results in trials on animals, says the report. It’s said to trigger an immune response that blocks cocaine from reaching the brain. Researchers hope will help users break the cycle of addiction. According to the US National Institute on Drug Abuse, only one in four cocaine addicts quits after five years of using narcotic.

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In simple terms, the cocaine addiction vaccine stops users from getting high. The vaccine triggers patients’ immune systems to produce antibodies. These bind to cocaine molecules in the bloodstream, making them too large to pass into the brain’s mesolimbic system. It therefore cannot reach the ‘reward centre’ where it normally stimulates high levels of pleasure-inducing dopamine.

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This is the first instance of cocaine addiction being treated with a vaccine, said the coordinator of the team from the Federal University of Minas Gerais in Southeastern Brazil.


Cocaine addiction vaccine
Drugs seized in Limpopo recently Image: SAPS.

The project won top prize of $530 000 at the Euro Health Innovation awards for Latin American medicine, sponsored by Eurofarma. The vaccine will now enter the final stage of trials, which is testing on humans. And, encouragingly, more than 3 000 people have contacted the university’s team to volunteer to take part in the clinical trials.

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