Researchers Are Creating New Vaccine to Target Opioid Addiction

Researchers Are Creating New Vaccine to Target Opioid Addiction

Researchers are working on a promising new vaccine that could aid in the battle against opioid addiction. With the help of a $250,000 grant from the National Institutes of Health, researchers from the University of New Mexico (UNM) are joining forces with a Northern Arizona University (NAU) researcher to create a vaccine that would block opioids from acting in the brain. Such a vaccine could potentially help those with opioid use disorder overcome their addiction, according to a statement from the UNM Health Sciences.

The vaccine would operate similar to HPV vaccines in that it would trigger a patient’s own immune system to create antibodies that would fight against opioids consumed by a user.

 “The main concept of this vaccine is to treat individuals who are suffering from opioid addiction,” NAU researcher Naomi Lee, PhD, told Arizona public radio station KNAU. “It’s to trick your body into thinking that it’s a foreign or bad molecule, and create antibodies, which is essentially what we do with our current vaccines, and then protect your body against those opioids.”

By blocking opioids from reaching the brain blood barrier, it would prevent the expected high of a drug.

Kathryn Frietze, PhD, an assistant professor in UNM’s Department of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology, said the vaccine will operate by attaching molecules of different opioid drugs to the protein shell of a virus-like particle ( VLP), that has its genome removed leaving only the outer protein shell.

Frietze said researchers hope that by using this VLP protein shell the particles will not be able to reproduce but will be able to trigger the immune system to attack the invader and create antibodies.

A similar process has been used before to trigger immune responses by attaching opioids to proteins like tetanus toxoid. The, challenge has been that it often requires multiple injections and isn’t a long-lasting solution, the release states.

Researchers, including Bryce Chackerian, PhD, are hopeful their new process may offer more long-lasting results and are currently testing the speed, strength, and duration of the immune response in mice. The hope is that VLPs will produce a fast, high titer, and more long-lasting antibody response to opioids.

“We believe that these are features that are likely required for effective vaccine-based treatment for opioid use disorder,” Lee, assistant professor of chemistry and biochemistry at NAU said in a statement produced by NAU.

If the vaccine is ultimately found to be effective, Frietze says it “would not be a standalone treatment” and would likely be used along with other treatment options, but it could play a valuable role in fighting the opioid epidemic.

According to data from the CDC, opioids were involved in 47,600 deaths in 2017 and represent the largest segment of overdose deaths.

Let’s just imagine that they are successful in creating a anti-opiate addiction vaccine. Could we reach a point where anyone ODing on a opiate be forced by our judicial system to receive this vaccination ?  After all in 1917 the judicial system declared that opiate addiction was a CRIME and not a DISEASE and Congress in 1970 gave the judicial system the charge of fighting the war on drugs with the Controlled Substance Act.  Since only prisoners are covered by the 8th Amendment of “cruel and unusual punishment” … could prisoner be free to reject being given the vaccination ?

Then you have someone who has received this vaccination and at some point in time requires surgery, in a vehicle accident or other such causes of acute or ending up in chronic pain..  Some meds used in surgery are or related to opiates..  will these people be forced to undergo surgery via a local anesthesia and not be able to have any pain management post surgery – or – if the pt evolves into chronic pain … little/no pain management – EVER ?

Talk about your unintended consequences !

8 Responses

  1. After all the fraud CDC has lost all credibility why would anyone trust this vaccine and what happens if you have an incredible painful INJURY?

  2. Your comment says it all Steve!! When are they going to be truthful and

    report an over dose what it is? Was it a heroin OD? Or a Fentanyl

    O.D.? Or an illegal pill off the streets OD? This matters The overdoses

    on prescription opioids is less than 1% in reports I have read. We need

    to start telling the truth! There are to many people suffering because our

    medicine was taken away

  3. Amazing, once again you are helping tge addicts and still noyhing is being doe to help the CPP’S WHO NEVER DID ANYTHING WRONG IN THE FIRST PLACE. Typical

  4. Isn’t this like the vivitrol shot? The one good logical addiction specialist’s already dislike. More od because the mind of addiction. Going to keep trying to get high regardless???

    • Vivitrol is Naltraxone and the shot only lasts 28 days… this post was about a vaccine… which could provide a benefit for months, years or lifetime… jury still out if it will work and for how long

  5. It seems to me that an anti-opioid zealot vaccine needs to be developed first. Until ALL pain generating disease and accidental injury to mankind is eliminated, there will be intractable pain. The 2016 CDC “guideline” got the cart before the horse with the opioid crisis. Physicians are not perfect but, responsible doctors are able to help patients with unbearable, continuous pain issues without creating drug addicts by treating with opioid medications.

  6. Hilarious. Sounds like everybody, well most everybody, will be lining up for their daily anti-“sin” shot soon. Didn’t work in “Equilibrium” and won’t work now.

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