An injectable smoking cessation vaccine that stops nicotine in tobacco entering the brain could soon be made available for smokers who are trying to quit.
Trials have shown that the NicVAX vaccine could halve the number of people who return to smoking after trying to give up and if successful the vaccine could help prevent millions of deaths around the world.
The addictive sensation of pleasure that comes from nicotine would be blocked by the vaccine, which creates anti-bodies that bind to nicotine molecules, preventing them from passing the blood into the brain.
Glaxosmithkline (GSK) will pay £24m up front and as much as £296m to the drug’s developer Nabi as part of the deal.
Jean Stephenne, president of GSK’s Biologicals division said: “If approved this technology could be a novel solution to help the millions of smokers who want to stop smoking and remain abstinent; a habit that is very well documented to be very hard to stop permanently.”