Vaccines are usually perceived to fight infectious diseases. But what about the vaccine for addiction? HHS Secretary Tom Price says one is being developed but experts say such a shot is not likely soon.
Price, who has been looking for ways for the FDA to fight the opioid crisis, offered some hope for such treatment during a White House press session about the current situation.
“One of the things they’re actually working on is a vaccine for addiction, which is an incredibly exciting prospect,” Price said referring to research being done at the NIH.
The vaccine is still in preclinical development, and it is developed in analogy to the TA-CD mechanism, trying to generate antibodies that block morphine from binding to opioid receptors in the brain.
“It’s a long process, and it takes years,” Ivan Montoya, M.D., acting director of the Division of Therapeutics and Medical Consequences at the NIDA, said of the vaccine development endeavor, as quoted by CNN. He said that maybe Price “saw the mechanism and got excited about the approach.”
In April, NIH Director Francis Collins, met with leading biopharma companies and formed a public-private alliance to address the opioid epidemic. A key area of focus of that partnership is centered on advancing new and innovative medication and biologics to treat opioid addiction and for overdose prevention and reversal.