Engineering Innovation Podcast and Radio Series

Nicotine Vaccine

PostedJanuary 25, 2013

Download File (mp3)


Anchor Lede: A study released this past week said smokers who quit before age forty live about as long as non-smokers. Soon that quitting might be aided by a 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 now in clinical trials.