ScienceDaily (2011-01-04) - Researchers have produced a lasting anti-cocaine immunity in mice by giving them a safe vaccine that combines bits of the common cold virus with a particle that mimics cocaine.

In their study, published Jan. 4 in the online edition of Molecular Therapy and funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the researchers say this novel strategy might be the first to offer cocaine addicts a fairly simple way to break and reverse their habit, and it might also be useful in treating other addictions, such as to nicotine, heroin and other opiates.

The antibody immune response produced in lab mice by the vaccine binds to, and sequesters, cocaine molecules before the drug reached the brains of these animals - and prevents any cocaine-related hyperactivity. The vaccine effect lasted for at least 13 weeks, the longest time point evaluated.

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