Researchers of the University of Houston’s Drug Discovery Institute have developed a fentanyl vaccine that could eliminate the drug’s “high” by blocking its ability to enter the brain. The vaccine works by stimulating T-cells in the immune system. It uses dmLT as an adjuvant. The substance boosts the amount of mucous secreted by the immune system. It can combat drug addiction and opioid overdoses.The synthetic opioid up to 50 times stronger than heroin and 100 times stronger than morphine, is prescribed by doctors to treat severe pain after surgery or for advanced-stage cancer patients. Abused by people it is deadly.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 71,000 Americans died of fentanyl overdoses last year. The anti-fentanyl antibodies produced by vaccine didn’t cross-react with other opioids, meaning a vaccinated person could still be treated for pain relief with other opioids. The vaccine has not any adverse side effects being tested in rats. The main components are already widely used and tested.The team plans to start manufacturing clinical-grade vaccines in the coming months with plans to start trials on humans.