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Drugmaker's New Partnership Hopes to Help Erase Memories of Chantix Side Effects

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Philadelphia, PAA new partnership between pharmaceutical giants GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) and Nabi Biopharmaceuticals (NBP) is hoping to yield an alternative to medications, such as Pfizer's Chantix, that can increase the risk of adverse side effects. The partnership is working on the first successful nicotine vaccine that could help consumers quit smoking.

According to a recent report on, the NicVax vaccine, which is currently in Phase 3 clinical testing, is designed to boost a user's immune system to create a crop of antibodies that would prevent nicotine molecules from reaching pleasure receptors in the brain - effectively removing the enjoyment factor from smoking.

If successful, NicVax could restore consumer confidence in the smoking cessation industry, whose reputation has been damaged by medications like Chantix. In 2008, Chantix was conclusively linked to bouts of severe depression that resulted in 227 incidents of suicidal acts, thoughts or behavior, in addition to several psychotic and aggressive incidents.

"If approved, this smoking cessation vaccine technology could be a novel solution to help the millions of smokers who want to stop smoking and remain abstinent," GSK president Jean Stephenne tells Pharmafocus.


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