NicVAX is designed to help people quit smoking. The vaccine stimulates the body to create antibodies to nicotine, which should bind to nicotine, prevent it from crossing the blood-brain barrier, and thus decrease its euphoric, addictive effects. Removing that effect should make it easier for smokers to quit.
It sounds good in theory, but I wouldn't go out and start shorting cigarette makers like Altria
In reality, creating a vaccine for nicotine might be more difficult. Earlier this year, Cytos Biotechnology and Novartis
But the milestone payments and a double-digit royalty would be a small price to pay if NicVAX turns out to work. Pfizer's
But before it can compete, NicVAX is going to have to emerge from the smoke-filled uncertainty of clinical development with positive clinical trial results.