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Merry Christmas and Potential New Vaccine Against Meth Addiction

Posted: December 25th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Travel Vaccines Updates | Tags: , , | Comments Off on Merry Christmas and Potential New Vaccine Against Meth Addiction

A team of scientists at the Scripps Research Institute saw promising results in a study of a vaccine against methamphetamine. With more than 430,000 users nationwide, methamphetamine has become one of the most common recreational drugs in the U.S.

The early-stage study, released in the journal Biological Psychiatry, showed that the vaccine protected against meth intoxication in laboratory animals. The compound MH6 blocked two effects of meth in rats given the drug: high energy levels and increased body temperature. This may indicate that the vaccine was preventing methamphetamine from reaching the nervous system.

A healthy antibody response in rats given MH6 also led scientists to believe the body was fighting the drug.

“This is an early-stage study, but its results are comparable to those for other drug vaccines that have gone to clinical trials,” Michael Taffe, a Scripps researcher with the institute’s Committee on the Neurobiology of Addictive Disorders, told California Watch. “It looks promising, but we’re still early on in the process.”

Unfortunately, effects of the vaccine last only weeks, not years. But research is still in its infancy.

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$31 Million in Funding to Research HIV/AIDS Vaccine

Posted: August 21st, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Passport Health Sarasota-Bradenton Announcements | Tags: , , , , | Comments Off on $31 Million in Funding to Research HIV/AIDS Vaccine
HIV Particle

HIV Particle (Photo credit: AJC1)

North Carolina’s Duke University and California’s Scripps Research Institute received a combined $31 million in first-year funding to direct the new Centers for HIV/AIDS Vaccine Immunology & Immunogen Discovery. The program fuels the long-time hunt for vaccines against intractable HIV.

Over 6 years, the initiative is expected to receive $186 million, which will go toward accelerating HIV vaccine development. Researchers will study immune responses that prevent or contain HIV infection and generate model vaccine components that can induce such responses, according to a National Institutes of Health release.

Duke received $19.9 million and Scripps received $11.1 million in funding for fiscal 2012. The groups have a tricky task ahead, as any worthy vaccine would have to provide a broad defense against multiple strains of HIV. Vaccines, of course, offer the promise of preventing infection in people at risk of HIV, which is now treated with anti-viral drugs.

“In recent years, considerable progress has been made in identifying antibodies that can prevent a broad range of HIV strains from infecting human cells,” Anthony Fauci, director of the NIH’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), said in a statement. “CHAVI-ID will attempt to understand how these antibodies and other immune responses work to protect against HIV infection, providing scientists with a rational foundation for designing what we hope will be an effective HIV vaccine.”

The United States sees an estimated 50,000 new HIV infections each year, and an estimated 34 million people live with HIV worldwide, according to the NIAID.