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Brazilian scientists develop promising vaccine for cocaine addiction

Lupin Limited, an Indian maker of branded, generic formulations, biotechnology products, and active pharmaceutical ingredients, has got USFDA approval for its ANDA injection, glycopyrrolate.

HQ Team

October 27, 2023: Brazilian scientists have developed an innovative vaccine known as “Calixcoca” for cocaine addiction, a pervasive problem in the world’s second-largest cocaine consumer. This vaccine shows promise in animal trials by triggering an immune response that obstructs cocaine and crack from reaching the brain, potentially breaking the cycle of addiction.

Revolutionary  approach

The “Calixcoca” vaccine aims to block the euphoric effects of the drug, which could prove transformative in addiction treatment.

Post successful human trials and regulatory approval. it would be the first time cocaine addiction is treated using a vaccine, said psychiatrist Frederico Garcia, coordinator of the team that developed the treatment at the Federal University of Minas Gerais.

The team
recently secured the top prize at the Euro Health Innovation awards for Latin American medicine and was awarded $530,000. The event was sponsored by the pharmaceutical company Eurofarma.

The mechanism
The vaccine operates by stimulating the patient’s immune system to generate antibodies that attach to cocaine molecules in the bloodstream. These antibodies render the molecules too large to cross into the brain’s mesolimbic system, responsible for pleasure-inducing dopamine release during drug use.

​The vaccine is made with chemical compounds designed in the lab and carries no biological ingredients. It is cost-effective and would not have to be stored at cold temperatures.​

New chapter in cocaine addiction treatment?

Similar studies have not been too successful in clinical trials. “Calixcoca” has displayed encouraging outcomes in animal testing, exhibiting substantial antibody production and minimal side effects.

In animal trials, the researchers discovered that the vaccine safeguarded rat fetuses from the effects of cocaine. This finding raises the possibility of using the vaccine in pregnant addicts to shield their unborn children from harm.

Human Trials

With successful animal trials, “Calixcoca” is advancing to the crucial phase of human trials. This milestone will determine its viability as an effective solution for cocaine addiction.

While not a universal remedy, “Calixcoca” is poised to become a valuable addition to existing addiction treatment approaches, particularly for recovering addicts seeking sustained sobriety.

SCocaine addiction statistics highlight the urgency of innovative treatments. “Calixcoca” aims to change the narrative, especially given the National Institute on Drug Abuse’s statistic that one in four regular cocaine users becomes addicted.

For the human trial, over 3,000 volunteers have come forward. This response reflects the pressing need for more effective solutions in tackling cocaine addiction.

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