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Heroin Vaccine Ready for Testing on Humans

heroin addict

Researchers believe that the vaccine will help to eliminate the motivation for recovering addicts to continue using heroin.

The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) of La Jolla, CA has completed pre-clinical testing of a vaccine to block the “high” effect stimulated by the opioid drug heroin and is now ready to test it in humans following tests that showed the vaccine’s effectiveness in nonhuman primates.1 

Research on the anti-heroin vaccine was conducted as part of a  study funded by the National Institutes of Health and published in the Journal of the American Chemical Society.2

According to TSRI, the vaccine is designed to train the immune system to do something it is not designed to do naturally—recognize a substance (the heroin molecule) that is not a pathogen.3 Since heroin is not a pathogen, the vaccine exposes the immune system to a part of the heroin molecule’s structure forcing the immune system to respond by producing antibodies.3

These antibodies then neutralize the heroin molecules keeping them from reaching the brain, thus preventing the euphoric-like feeling caused by heroin.3 Researchers believe that the vaccine will help to eliminate the motivation for recovering addicts to continue using heroin.2

The vaccine was previously tested on laboratory rodents where it proved effective in neutralizing heroin.2 More recently, researchers conducted vaccine trials on four rhesus monkeys and found the vaccine to produce an effective immune response that could neutralize varying doses of heroin.2

The study’s lead investigator Kim Janda, PhD, professor of chemistry and a member of the Skagg’s Institute for Chemical Biology at TSRI stated:

We’ve optimized every component of the vaccine. We were able to recapitulate most of what we’ve done in rodents. If it works in nonhuman primates, we shouldn’t see any hiccups in going into humans.3

Dr. Janda added:

This validates our previous rodent data and positions our vaccine in a favorable light for anticipated clinical evaluation. We believe this vaccine candidate will prove safe for human trials.2

TSRI’s vaccine is designed to work only against the effects of heroin and not other opioids.3


1 Coxworth B. Heroin Vaccine Comes a Step Closer to Human Use. New Atlas June 6, 2017.
2 The Scripps Research Institute. TSRI Anti-Heroin Vaccine Found Effective in Non-Human Primates. The Scripps Research Institute June 6, 2017.
3 Fikes B. Heroin vaccine works in monkeys, being readied for human testing. The San Diego Union-Tribune June 10, 2017.

5 Responses to Heroin Vaccine Ready for Testing on Humans

  1. Janine Jacobus Reply

    July 21, 2017 at 2:38 pm

    This seems strange indeed, it has stated that its causing the body to perform a task that is deemed unnatural.. what in the actual fuck are you guys on about? Medicine is supposed to enhance the bodies already functioning procedures. The answer to addiction is not sobriety, or blockage, it is community and living a life of self fulfillment and serving others. Not to mention, and granted this is just my personal angle, the medical industry seems to be, as of late, obsessed with vaccines, and is slowly conceiving this notion of a “single cure all, prevent all” way of medicine and living. One size doesn’t fit all, you fucking pricks. Thank you.

  2. Robin Sandberg Reply

    July 18, 2017 at 5:57 pm

    Heroin addicts already no longer get the HIGH they once did. The body has made adaptations and now they just use to feel normal. Unfortunately they keep using in the hope that they will experience the magic they once did. I dont see how this drug will prevent that desperate search for wholeness…that is never found through the use of drugs. The drugs only show you the glimpse…not the way.

  3. CAWS Reply

    July 16, 2017 at 3:51 pm

    As with Narcan; addicts will just take more or find another high. Also what happens if they need surgery later? Fentanyl & morphine will also be blocked.

  4. Robert Reply

    July 16, 2017 at 12:13 pm

    Naltrexone = this vaccine minus the potential side effects

  5. Kathy Beavin Reply

    July 16, 2017 at 10:37 am

    This seems – well for lack of a better word – weird. I would think this would have no effect on the addiction itself. Once you become adicted are you adicted to the drug itself or the high?

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