Sudbury doctor's 'nicotine vaccine' showing promising results: Health Sciences North

Treatment would block nicotine from entering the brain

September 20, 2016

Sudbury's Dr. Hoang-Thanh Le hopes that a breakthrough vaccine will be able to help smokers butt out once and for all. (Health Sciences North Research Institute)

A researcher in Sudbury, Ont., thinks there might be a way to help smokers quit once and for all: a vaccine. 

The Canadian Institute of Health Research has awarded Sudbury's Dr. Hoang-Thanh Le with funding to to continue developing a tobacco smoking vaccine, Health Sciences North Research Institute said in a press release today.


Le's team is working on a vaccine which is administered through the nose, skin or under the tongue, and would effectively block nicotine from entering the brain.

The vaccine would not require any needles, the press release said, and could be further developed to treat other addictions such as cocaine, heroin, and methamphetamine.

Vaccine showing 'promising preliminary results'

"Only a small group of people see long term success with the current smoking cessation options," Le said in the release. "The nicotine vaccine would be a likely option for treatment that suppresses the addiction."

So far the vaccine is showing "promising preliminary results," said HSNRI.

Le anticipates starting "human clinical trials once all safety and efficacy testing has been concluded in animals."

Sudbury has higher rates of smoking than the provincial average according to HSNRI, and "there is an undeniable link between smoking and cancer, heart and lung diseases."

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