News Release

July 28, 2006

Contact: Jane Shaskan, 860-679-4777

Smoking Vaccine Being Tested

Volunteers Needed for Study

FARMINGTON, CONN. – Researchers at the University of Connecticut Health Center are seeking smokers over the age of 18 for a national study of an experimental vaccine that may help them quit smoking.

“The vaccine produces antibodies that bind to nicotine,” explained Cheryl Oncken, M.D., principal investigator and associate professor of medicine. “The resulting molecule is too large to reach the brain, and leads to gradually reducing the satisfaction a smoker receives from their cigarettes.”

To qualify for the year-long study, volunteers must be in general good health, smoke at least 15 cigarettes per day and want to quit. Participants who pass an initial screening visit will be randomly assigned to receive one of several doses of the vaccine or a placebo.

During the course of the study, volunteers will receive four to five injections, receive behavioral counseling to help them quit, and have regular physical exams that include blood tests. Volunteers will also be asked to keep an electronic daily diary.

Helping smokers quit is the single most effective disease prevention strategy, said Dr. Oncken. “Nationwide over 430,000 Americans die each year of smoking related diseases including heart disease, emphysema, chronic bronchitis and lung cancer,” she said. "Less than 7 percent of smokers who try to quit smoking each year are successful. Additional treatments to help people quit are truly needed."

Side effects of the vaccine may include fever, muscle aches, tiredness, headache, nausea, or vomiting, which usually resolve within several days following the injection. In addition, there may be temporary local discomfort at the site of the injection.

For more information about the study and to determine eligibility, call 860-679-3136.

The study, “Phase 2, Multi-Center, Randomized, Double-Blinded, Placebo-Controlled Study to Assess Efficacy of 3’-aminomethylnicotine-P. aeruginosa r Exoprotein A Conjugate Vaccine (NicVAX™) in Smokers Who Want to Quit Smoking,” is funded by Nabi Biopharmaceuticals, maker of NicVAX™.

IRB No. 06-550-2

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