"I think that this vaccine has all the right features to allow it to move forward in development," said Janda. "It certainly works better than the other active vaccines for meth that have been reported so far."
The Next Big Challenge
A separate group of researchers has reported promising animal test results for an antibody-based treatment. In this approach, the anti-meth antibodies are grown in cultured cells using standard biotechnology methods and then injected into the animal in a concentrated dose, preventing a meth high. Antibody-based therapies are commonly used to treat cancer and chronic immunological conditions. But they are typically expensive, costing thousands of dollars per dose, and the effects of a dose last for a few weeks at most. A meth treatment probably would have to be much more cost-effective to be widely useful, as addicts frequently have little money and no health insurance and receive their treatments from government health services.
In principle, an active vaccine would be cheap to make and administer and would confer protection for months per dose, rather than weeks with conventional monoclonal antibody therapy. In practice, active meth vaccine candidates don't yet last that long; for example, the MH6 candidate in the current study was given in four doses over 12 weeks. But Janda and Taffe believe that with further adjustment, an active meth vaccine could sustain an anti-meth antibody response for a much longer period.
"Extending the duration of protection is the next big scientific challenge in this field," said Taffe.
In addition to Taffe, Janda and Miller, other co-authors of the report, "A Methamphetamine Vaccine Attenuates Methamphetamine-Induced Disruptions in Thermoregulation and Activity in Rats," were Amira Y. Moreno, from TSRI's Department of Chemistry; and Shawn M. Aarde, Kevin M. Creehan, Sophia A. Vandewater, Brittani D. Vaillancourt and M. Jerry Wright Jr., from TSR
|SOURCE The Scripps Research Institute|
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