Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Opportunity in the field of Drug Development – Smoking cessation


Antismoking foundations have sprouted at regular intervals consistently in different parts of the world, with an objective of overcoming the addiction to smoking. Various products have been undergone clinical research for efficacy and safety. There have been abundant developments in the form of extraction and novel delivery of nicotine that is devoid of dangerous and hazardous chemicals that usually part of smoke. Developments have evolved and promulgated into electric cigar and Trans dermal patches etc. Novel products with the variation in delivery system such as these are acting on the same receptors where the active from smoke too act. i.e., nicotinic receptors. Hence, there exists a scope for products that are devoid of nicotine. 




Lately, Varenicline an active is indicated for Smoking cessation. It is found to be more effective than NRTs and nicotine agonists1&2.  Among the recent developments, Champix found to be the best of the rest. Drug of this kind work through the mechanism of competitative inhibition and prevent the nicotinic effects.  Nowadays, Clinical trials are being focused on towards the development of antismoking vaccine3

Recent news suggests that around 4.1 milliion US dollors have gone in drain through an exhaustive clinical trial performed by Glaxo – Nabi collaboration for vaccine. The objective of that vaccine was supposed to induce the creation of an antibody; this in turn intends to prevent the transportation of nicotine through Blood Brain Barrier.  These concepts and drug targets are food for thought for those in the drug discovery and development fields. Currently, there are around 1.1 billion smokers in the world and these numbers are increasing steadily day after day; therefore, developments in the field of smoking cessation is the field that could be tapped by the pharmaceutical companies.

References:
1.   a b Jorenby DE, Hays JT, Rigotti NA, Azoulay S, Watsky EJ, Williams KE, Billing CB, Gong J, Reeves KR (2006). "Efficacy of varenicline, an alpha4beta2 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor partial agonist, vs placebo or sustained-release bupropion for smoking cessation: a randomized controlled trial"JAMA 296 (1): 56–63. doi:10.1001/jama.296.1.56.PMID 16820547.
2.   a b Mills EJ, Wu P, Spurden D, Ebbert JO, Wilson K (2009). "Efficacy of pharmacotherapies for short-term smoking abstinance: a systematic review and meta-analysis"Harm Reduct J 6: 25. doi:10.1186/1477-7517-6-25PMC 2760513PMID 19761618.

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