Engineering Innovation Podcast and Radio Series

Nicotine Vaccine

PostedJune 17, 2012

Download File (mp3)

Anchor Lede: Instead of daily nicotine patches or pills, an experimental anti-smoking treatment aims to prevent the pleasures of smoking through vaccination.

Randy Atkins: The vaccine is made of tiny biodegradable particles engineered to instigate an immune response against nicotine. Lloyd Johnston, of Selecta Biosciences, says it could work for years.

Lloyd Johnston: Our vaccine goes away, but we’ve taught the body how to make antibodies.

Randy Atkins: Those antibodies latch on to nicotine molecules and making them too big to cross the blood-brain barrier.

Lloyd Johnston: We essentially make your blood like a big sponge for nicotine so it never gets to the brain and therefore you don’t get the reward effects of smoking which makes it easier to stop smoking but, more importantly, it helps prevent relapse.

Randy Atkins: With the National Academy of Engineering, Randy Atkins, WTOP News.

Anchor Tag: The vaccine is just starting clinical trials and won’t be available for at least a few years.