Scripps scientist devotes himself to finding the perfect addiction vax

To hear Scripps' Kim Janda tell the story, the science behind the quest for a new vaccine to fight addiction is so simple even a child could understand. But like many scientific quests in biopharma, he's had to devote his career to find therapeutic candidates that can work in humans. And he's still looking. The key challenge, he tells The New York Times in an in-depth article, is that the immune system can't recognize the tiny molecules that invade the body when you introduce methamphetamines, cocaine or nicotine. So his solution is to attach a hapten to a protein and then add an adjuvant, so the stealthy drug molecule starts to look more like the Orient Express to the immune system. The body would naturally produce an antibody attack that would blow the drug molecules to bits, preventing addicts from ever feeling their effects. But getting one of these programs through the clinic has been one tough obstacle. Report

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