Anti-Addiction Conjugate Vaccine Treats Opiate Dependence
The multivalent “anti-addiction” conjugate vaccine produces drug-specific antibodies that sequester the target drug in serum and extracellular fluids, thus reducing drug distribution to the brain. A multivalent method is proposed in which anti-addiction vaccines against specific opioids are combined based on the specific drugs being abused. The conjugate vaccine cannot be abused and ensures longer duration of action and thus fewer expected non-compliance issues. Since the technology can encompass various opioid drug addictions and is low risk, the patient pool is increased when compared to other anti-addiction treatments.
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Current Opioid Addiction Treatment
Nearly 2,000,000 people in the U.S. are addicted to opioid pain relievers and an additional 350,000 are addicted to heroin. While current treatments for opioid addiction are effective, therapy with opioid agonist methadone and partial agonist buprenorphine have drawbacks such as the need for supervision, risk of abuse, non-compliance, and patient eligibility. Antagonist therapy with naltrexone is limited by lack of agonist effects, non-compliance, and increased risk of withdrawal symptoms. As a result, fewer than 1 in 5 opioid addicts or abusers in the U.S. are willing to use these medications. A need exists for an anti-addiction treatment that reduces relapse rates, decreases non-compliance risk, expands patient eligibility, and cannot be abused.
BENEFITS OF THIS MULTIVALENT APPROACH TO AN ANTI-ADDICTION CONJUGATE VACCINE:
- Less risk of compliance issue
- Fewer visits to clinics during treatment process
- Treatment cannot be abused
- Creation of a cocktail vaccine that best addresses patients’ specific addictions
- Lower risk of relapse due to use of antibodies
- Larger patient pool as varying addictions may be treated