Anti-heroin vaccine closer to reality, stops ‘high’ in primates

they are arguably the most similar to humans, he said. “Because the immunological, pharmacological and behavioral effects of the vaccine — in relation to heroin use — have now been established in monkeys, these effects would likely be similar in humans with the implication that the vaccine could be effective in mitigating heroin abuse.”

The study’s results present an “empirical foundation” to support additional assessments and clinical screenings in the treatment of opioid use disorders, the researchers stated. In addition, the scientific breakthrough will also require other types of efforts before it reaches public access.

“We must get a licensing deal worked out with a pharma industry partner. Next, the partner company must file an IND [Investigational New Drug] with the Food and Drug Administration and perform clinical trials,” Bremer said. “We’re optimistic about testing a combination vaccine against fentanyl and heroin in nonhuman primates. The combination could eventually be expanded to incorporate our prescription opioid vaccines as well.”