The use of this vaccine leads to development of antibodies blocking the action of specific narcotic. In the future, the developers want to create similar products for protection from other psychoactive substances. It is proposed that, in case of successful trials, the vaccine could be administered to teenagers in order to prevent any drug abuse.
The vaccine against opiate dependence is being developed by the National Scientific Center (NSC) of Narcology, the leading institution of the Russian Ministry of Health in that area. This was announced by Tatiana Klimenko, the Director of the Center.
New vaccine will contain antibodies to narcotics. These are special proteins generated by cells of the immune system.
The scientists create conjugates of narcotic with protein in the form of hybrid molecules made of two components with different properties. These conjugates are injected in animals, which allows to obtain primary antibodies. Next, such primary antibodies are injected into another animal in order to get secondary antibodies. The intended action of these antibodies is narcotic binding in the blood stream.
“In addition, body cells remember this antigen, and when the body encounters it the next time, it produces its own antibodies,” said Asya Berzina, senior research scientist.