High Society – Buzzkill Tech

Host David Malmo-Levine examines buzzkill technology – proposed medicines, vaccines and viruses that that block receptor sites in the brain – thus “protecting” us from euphoria. The Buzzkill tech makers want to jab everyone at birth and turn humanity into emotionless drones! With clips from Brain Candy, Clockwork Orange and One flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest.
This is scary.

For the details and some discussion on this issue, check out:



Vaccination against drug addiction?

July 26 2004 at 01:28AM

By Sophie Goodchild and Steve Bloomfield

London – A radical scheme to vaccinate children against future drug addiction is being considered by ministers, The Independent on Sunday reveals.

Under the plans, doctors would immunise children at risk of becoming smokers or drug users with an injection. The scheme could work similarly to the current nationwide measles, mumps and rubella vaccination programme.

Childhood immunisation would protect adults from the euphoria experienced by users, making drugs such as heroin and cocaine pointless to take. Such vaccinations are being developed by pharmaceutical companies and are due to hit the market within two years.

Childhood immunisation would protect adults from the euphoria experienced by users

The department of trade and industry has set up a special project to investigate ways of using science to combat drug and nicotine addiction.

A national anti-drug immunisation scheme is one of the proposals by the Brain Science, Addiction and Drugs project, an expert committee of scientists appointed by the government earlier this year.

Professor David Nutt, a leading government drugs adviser who sits on the committee, said anti-drug vaccines for children are likely to be among the panel’s recommendations when it reports next March.

Professor Nutt, head of psychopharmacology at the University of Bristol and a senior member of the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs, said: “People could be vaccinated against drugs at birth as you are against measles. You could say cocaine is more dangerous than measles, for example. It is important that there is a debate on this issue. This is a huge topic – addiction and smoking are major causes of premature death.”

According to the government’s own figures, the annual cost of drug addiction, to the economy, through related crime and health problems, is £12-billion.

‘You could say cocaine is more dangerous than measles’

There is a strong incentive for the government to find new ways to halt spiralling addiction. Last week, the Independent On Sunday revealed that cocaine use had trebled in Britain with increasing numbers of users switching to crack cocaine.

Scientists are already conducting trials for drugs that can be used by doctors to vaccinate against cocaine, heroin and nicotine addiction.

Xenova, the British biotechnology firm, has carried out trials on an anti-cocaine vaccine which showed that 58 percent of patients remained cocaine-free after three months.

And the Scripps Research Institute in San Diego, California has developed a super-virus, harmless to humans, which produces proteins that can block or reduce the effects of cocaine.

The Scripps team tested the virus on rats by injecting it into their noses twice a day for three days. On the fourth day, the rats were given a shot of cocaine. It was found that the cocaine had more effect on the rats not injected with the virus than those that were.

Scientists hope the virus will help stop the cravings for cocaine by blocking the pleasure they normally associate with cocaine.

The medication is expected to be available within in the next two years in the form of a nasal spray.

This article was originally published on page 2 of Cape Times on July 26, 2004


Last Updated: Monday, 14 June, 2004, 11:37 GMT 12:37 UK

Cocaine vaccine ‘stops addiction’

The vaccine blocks cocaine’s ‘high’

A vaccine which can help cocaine addicts break their addiction has been developed by a UK pharmaceutical company.

Trials carried out in the US showed almost half of those given the TA-CD vaccine, developed by Xenova, were able to stay off the drug for six months.

The vaccine does not stop the craving for cocaine, but will stop addicts experiencing a high when they take it.

The company says this prevents the people becoming re-addicted.

If their underlying issues aren’t addressed, people may move on to another drug

Drugscope spokeswoman

In the study, the TA-CD vaccine was compared with a dummy version.

David Oxlade, chief executive of Xenova, told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “This is the third study in the US that we are reporting on today, and it shows that almost half the addicts were able to stay cocaine-free for six months.

“That is a quite remarkable position.”


Mr Oxlade added: “The vaccine for cocaine addicts works in very much the same way a regular vaccine works.

“The reason cocaine addicts can take the drug for years without mounting any sort of immune response is because the drug has very small molecules.”

He explained that the vaccine is created by attaching the cocaine to a large protein molecule which is used to stimulate the body’s immune system to produce antibodies that recognise the drug.

Mr Oxlade added: “It stops the cocaine from being able to get across from the blood into the brain, which is where you get the high and, of course, where you get the addiction.

“If somebody takes the vaccine as part of a programme in a drug centre and after a month or so is out and takes another dose of cocaine, they won’t get the high and they won’t get the re-addiction.”

He said it was possible that addicts would simply switch to another drug, but said evidence from three US trials showed that only happened in a small number of cases.

A spokeswoman for Drugscope told BBC News Online: “This is a really interesting study. It’s clear that the vaccine seems to be working well for some cocaine addicts.

‘Ethical issues’

“But we have to remember that not everyone reacts in the same way to treatments.

“A lot of cocaine addicts have complex social and psychological issues. Once one drug stops working, if these underlying issues aren’t addressed, people may move on to another drug that does.”

Lesley King-Lewis, chief executive of Action on Addiction, said: “The first priority would be to give it to cocaine users who have already given up, because they are in danger of relapse, and then move on to those who are still using.”

“There is no substitute drug available to use in treatment for cocaine addicts, so any extra help is vital in helping them to lead normal lives again.”

But she added: “However, the vaccine must stimulate a very strong immune response so that every single cocaine molecule is mopped up if someone uses again. Otherwise a small number could get through and act like a teaser, causing the person to take even more to satisfy their cravings completely.

“Other forms of support would also be necessary for cocaine addicts giving up, as it is more than just the physiological addiction that causes people to use again. Craving is a very complex issue that won’t necessarily be solved with a pharmacological intervention.

She added: “There are also ethical issues around when and how this vaccine is used.”

Ireland Considers Vaccinating Against Drug Addiction




Most Emailed

The Irish government is being asked to consider a radical approach to fighting addiction: vaccinating children against future heroin, cocaine, and nicotine misuse, the Belfast Telegraph reported July 26.

The national anti-drug immunization program is one of several recommendations issued by the Brain Science, Addiction and Drugs project, a committee of scientists appointed by the government earlier this year.

The program would be similar to past nationwide vaccination programs for measles, mumps, and rubella.

“People could be vaccinated against drugs at birth as you are against measles. You could say cocaine is more dangerous than measles, for example. It is important that there is a debate on this issue. This is a huge topic — addiction and smoking are major causes of premature death,” said committee member David Nutt, a leading government drugs adviser.

Drug vaccinations are currently in development by pharmaceutical companies and could be on the market within two years.


Babies could get anti-junkie jab
By Ben English and Jason Gregory
July 26, 2004

CHILDREN could be injected with an “anti-junkie” vaccination being developed by drug companies under a radical plan to combat rising addiction.

Under the plan, being considered by British MPs, doctors would immunise at birth babies considered to be at risk of becoming nicotine or drug addicts. The injection would be similar to an inoculation for measles or mumps.

Doctors believe the childhood jab would block the euphoric effects of drugs later in life, rendering useless narcotics such as heroin and cocaine.

The vaccinations are expected to be on the market within two years.

“People could be vaccinated against drugs at birth as you are against measles,” Professor David Nutt, a leading British government drugs adviser who sits on a national committee, said.


Posted by michael on Sunday July 25, @05:30PM
from the do-gooder dept.
Smoke Me A Kipper writes “The Independent is reporting that the latest UK government sponsored quango, charged with looking at the problems of drug abuse, is to recommend a national anti-addiction ‘vaccination’ scheme. Apparantly, trials are already in progress. No details as to whether it would be mandatory. Personally I find such an idea utterly shocking – what happens when you find yourself injured in later life and morphine based painkillers no longer work? I wouldn’t be surprised to find existing phamaceutical companies excited by this, having to replace cheap drugs with something new, which they can patent and control.”


Successful Results from Second Clinical Trial of Anti-Smoking Vaccine, TA-NIC

14 Jul 2004

Xenova Group plc announced today initial results from the second clinical trial of TA-NIC, the Company’s therapeutic vaccine being developed for the treatment of nicotine addiction.

60 smokers, divided into three cohorts of 20 subjects, have been recruited into this double-blind, randomised, placebo-controlled study. The objectives of this second Phase I clinical study were to explore the safety, tolerability and level of anti-nicotine antibody response to increasing doses of the vaccine TA-NIC, and to select a dose for Phase II/III evaluation.

Key findings from the study were:

— No drug-related serious adverse events were seen in any cohort

— Minimal injection-site effects were seen at the dose selected for Phase II/III studies

— Anti-nicotine antibody responses were dose dependent

— The selected dose showed an improved anti-nicotine antibody response profile compared to the lowest dose tested:

— — Approximately twice the level of anti-nicotine antibodies were observed

— — Faster and more rapid onset of anti-nicotine antibody response was achieved

— Although not designed to test the effect of the TA-NIC vaccine on smoker’s quit rates, there was a clear reduction across all groups receiving TA-NIC compared to those with the placebo group, in terms of those smokers who voluntarily quit during the 12-week period or self-reported a reduction in smoking pleasure

— — At week six, 19 out of the 44 (43%) subjects receiving TA-NIC voluntarily gave up smoking or reported reduced pleasure when smoking compared to only 1 out of 11 (9%) receiving the placebo

On the basis of these results, a Phase II/III dose has been selected for further clinical evaluation. The final data from this Phase I study is expected at the end of this year (2004) with Phase II trials commencing shortly thereafter.

David Oxlade, Chief Executive Officer of Xenova said, “We are most encouraged by these results. The next stage of trials will test TA-NIC’s ability to help smokers break the habit and thereby reduce the serious consequences to health caused by smoking.”



Xenova Group plc
44 (0)1753 706600
David A. Oxlade, Chief Executive Officer
Daniel Abrams, Finance Director
Veronica Cefis Sellar, Head of Corporate Communications

UK – Financial Dynamics
44 (0)20 7831 3113
David Yates
Ben Atwell
US – Trout Group/BMC Communications
1 212 477 9007
Media: Brad Miles
Investors: Lee Stern

Xenova Group plc is a UK-based biopharmaceutical company focused on the development of novel drugs to treat cancer and addiction with a secondary focus in immunotherapy. The Company has a broad pipeline of products in clinical development, including three cancer programmes: its lead product TransMIDTM, for the treatment of high-grade glioma, is in Phase III trials, and its novel DNA targeting agents and XR303 are both in Phase I for cancer indications. Xenova is also developing two therapeutic vaccines for cocaine and nicotine addiction, which are in Phase II and Phase I trials respectively. Quoted on the London Stock Exchange (XEN) and on NASDAQ (XNVA), Xenova employs approximately 112 people throughout its sites in the UK and North America. (Reuters XEN.L; Bloomberg XEN LN)

Clinical Data

The first Phase I placebo controlled clinical trial was completed in 60 smokers and non-smokers in June 2002. The vaccine was well tolerated locally and systemically up to a course of 5 vaccinations of 50 mcg over 8-20 weeks and a booster vaccine given at 9 months after the initial injection. Nicotine-specific antibodies capable of binding free nicotine were generated, unaffected by smoking status, during the initial primary vaccination course. These antibody levels declined over 3-6 months, but a further significant increase in antibody levels was seen rapidly after the single booster injection.

Smoking Statistics

The World Health Organisation (WHO) notes that the tobacco epidemic is still expanding, especially in developing countries where currently 84% of smokers live. Tobacco use kills 4.9 million people each year and this toll is expected to double in the next 20 years. At current rates, the total number of tobacco users is expected to rise to 1.7 billion by 2025 from 1.3 billion now (May 2004).

Smoking cessation in the UK

Long term (and short term) success rates in terms of smokers reducing or stopping smoking remain low, with only approximately 5% of smokers being able to stop smoking after receiving advice from their doctor; a maximum of approximately 18% succeed when intensive support from specialists as well as nicotine replacement therapy are provided in addition.

Of the 1.3 billion smokers globally, it is estimated that some 4 million smokers each year in the UK attempt to quit, but that only 3-6% (or 1-2% of all smokers) are successful in giving up tobacco. Conventional treatment of nicotine addiction concentrates on psychosocial interventions (counselling, smoking cessation clinics) together with pharmacotherapy, including nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) and bupropion (Zyban®, GlaxoSmithKline). Even with effective behavioural and pharmacological therapies, many individuals dependant on nicotine fail in their attempts to remain abstinent, with smoking cessation rates of only approximately 10-20% at 1 year. Long term cessation rates are even lower with 40% of ex-smokers relapsing after 12 months abstinence.

Inhaled nicotine is highly addictive. Absorption of nicotine from cigarette smoke through the lung is rapid, producing with each inhalation a high concentration arterial bolus of nicotine that reaches the brain within 10-16 seconds, faster than by intravenous injection. Nicotine is able to cross the blood brain barrier where it binds to acetyl-choline receptors, triggering the release of neurotransmitters, such as dopamine and serotonin. These give rise to positive feelings (pleasure, relaxation, lack of anxiety, suppressed appetite, improved concentration) which are reinforced with each cigarette. Nicotine has a distribution half life of 15-20 minutes and a terminal half life in the blood of two hours. Smokers therefore experience a pattern of repetitive and transient high blood nicotine concentrations from each cigarette, with regular hourly cigarettes needed to maintain raised concentrations, and overnight blood levels dropping near to those of non-smokers. Smoking cessation is difficult to achieve due to the addictive properties of nicotine and the unpleasant withdrawal symptoms (irritability, lack of concentration, weight gain, nicotine craving).

TA-NIC mode of action

TA-NIC is a therapeutic vaccine in development for the treatment of nicotine addiction. Nicotine is a small molecule which, by itself, does not trigger an immune response. However, when nicotine is carried by an immunogenic protein it can prime the immune system to produce anti-nicotine antibodies. The active ingredient of TA-NIC vaccine is a protein conjugate: nicotine butyric acid (NBA) covalently linked to recombinant cholera toxin B (rCTB). rCTB was chosen as the carrier protein because it is known to be highly immunogenic and has been used for many years as a component of cholera vaccine. rCTB has been approved by the Swedish Medical Products Agency for use in an oral cholera vaccine that is marketed in Sweden and Norway and in 2003 was approved by the CPMP.

Nicotine is bound by the induced circulating anti-nicotine antibodies in the bloodstream and the resulting antigen-antibody complex is too large to cross the blood-brain barrier, so the pleasurable stimulus which usually accompanies smoking will be absent or reduced. Without this reward, the motivation to smoke again is reduced, preventing the reinforcement which is required to maintain the nicotine addiction.


NICE Guidance on the use of nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) and bupropion for smoking cessation. March 2002

For Xenova: Disclaimer to take advantage of the “Safe Harbor” provisions of the US Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. This press release contains “forward-looking statements,” including statements about development and commercialization of products. Various risks may cause Xenova’s actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied by the forward looking statements, including: unexpected costs and delays, adverse results in our drug discovery and clinical development programs; failure to obtain patent protection for our discoveries; commercial limitations imposed by patents owned or controlled by third parties; our dependence upon strategic alliance partners to develop and commercialize products and services; difficulties or delays in obtaining regulatory approvals to market products and services resulting from our development efforts; the requirement for substantial funding to conduct research and development and to expand commercialization activities; and product initiatives by competitors. For a further list and description of the risks and uncertainties we face, see the reports we have filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. We disclaim any intention or obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

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Xenova Group plc: Anti-Cocaine Addiction Vaccine Released from Clinical Hold Phase IIa Study Results Announced

Slough, UK, 9th July 2001 – Xenova Group plc (Nasdaq NM: XNVA; London Stock Exchange: XEN) today announces that, following a US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) review of the company’s recently submitted toxicology and clinical study results, the FDA has notified Xenova that its TA-CD (anti-cocaine addiction vaccine) product candidate has been released from clinical hold with immediate effect.

The TA-CD Phase IIa study had been placed on precautionary hold in August 2000 following the observation that a related product caused eye irritation in preclinical studies. No such effects were observed with TA-CD in man and extensive further testing of the related product has shown no safety implications. These results were submitted to the FDA in May 2001 and, following FDA review, the clinical hold on the TA-CDIND has been removed.

TA-CD is designed to work by generating antibodies in the bloodstream, thus preventing cocaine from crossing from the bloodstream into the brain, and stopping cocaine from blocking dopamine uptake, which is the cause of the “high” that addicts obtain. Patients may therefore be expected to benefit most from the support offered by TA-CD during the approximately 9 month period which it takes for the addiction craving for cocaine to be lost.

Phase IIa trial results – It is also announced today that the successful results of this Phase IIa trial have been presented at the 63rd Annual Scientific Meeting of the College on Problems of Drug Dependence, in Arizona, USA. The nine-patient study, in outpatient cocaine addicts, was conducted by Dr Thomas Kosten, Professor of Psychiatry, Yale University School of Medicine and was designed to evaluate the safety and immunogenicity of TA-CD using a four-dose accelerated vaccination schedule.

TA-CD was shown to be well tolerated systemically and locally and was able to generate higher and earlier antibody titres than those seen in a Phase I 34-patient trial using a three-dose vaccination schedule, potentially benefiting the patient by establishing a more rapid therapeutic effect. Cocaine specific antibodies persisted throughout the 12 weeks of the study. No cocaine metabolites were detected in the urine of 5 out of the 8 evaluable patients involved in the study, indicating no further cocaine use. An attenuation of the usual euphoric effects of cocaine was reported amongst patients who relapsed during the study, providing anecdotal evidence of the benefit TA-CD may provide.

Dr Kosten commented: “We are delighted by the progress to date of this potentially valuable product. TA-CD was well tolerated in this trial and has shown encouraging indications of efficacy. It is very hard for cocaine addicts to quit and TA-CD shows promise as a potential therapy. TA-CD certainly warrants further clinical investigation.”

Xenova expects to begin a new Phase II cocaine challenge study in the US in the near future. Addicts will be given cocaine under controlled conditions before and after vaccination with TA-CD and their behaviour monitored. Blood samples will be taken for the measurement of antibody titres. The purpose of the study is to provide an assessment of the efficacy of TA-CD, as determined by quantitative behavioural and other measurements.

This study is being funded in part by the US National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA). NIDA have also supported earlier Phase l/lla work as part of this programme.

David Oxlade, Chief Executive of Xenova, commented: “There is a real societal need for a solution to the problems of drug abuse and addiction, with an estimated 900,000 people seeking treatment for cocaine addiction every year in the US alone. Following the encouraging results of this trial we will now be evaluating the efficacy of TA-CD in cocaine addicts.”



Xenova Group plc
Tel: 44 (0) 1753 706600
David Oxlade: Chief Executive Officer
Daniel Abrams: Finance Director
Hilary Reid-Evans: Corporate Communications

Financial Dynamics
Tel: 44 (0) 20 7831 3113
David Yates/Fiona Noblet

Notes to Editors
Xenova Group plc’s product pipeline focuses principally on the therapeutic areas of cancer, infectious diseases and addiction. The Group has a well-established track record in the identification, development and partnering of innovative products and technologies. The Group has partnerships with a number of major pharmaceutical companies including Glaxo SmithKline, Lilly, Pfizer and Celltech.
For further information about Xenova and its products please visit the Xenova website at www.xenova.co.uk

Safe Harbor Statement under the US Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995: Some or all of the statements in this document that relate to future plans, expectations, events, performances and the like are forward-looking statements, as defined in the US Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Actual results of events could differ materially from those described in the forward-looking statements due to a variety of factors, including those set forth in the Company’s filings with the US Securities and Exchange Commission.