Creating a Vaccine Against Opioid Abuse

Image Source:
Published by
Published by: 
Brandon Hubbard, Marketing Coordinator
August 1, 2018

Opioid overdoses now account for more fatalities than car accidents and gun violence, with 115 people dying from the epidemic every day. With such a severe public health crisis more research and funding have gone into understanding addiction and better ways of treating it. To address the continuing issue the University of Minnesota Medical School launched the Medical Discovery Team on Addiction to track down a cure.

“Vaccines might be used not only for abuse per se but also some of the consequences, such as fatal overdoses,” said Marco Pravetoni, PhD, in an interview with Pharmaceutical Technology. Pravetoni's lab is busy working to develop a vaccine against heroin and prescription opioids, such as oxycodone. 

“The vaccines consist of a modified form of the target opioid, chemically conjugated to a protein,” Pravetoni said. “Like any vaccine, this is an injectable product that is mixed in an adjunct, and once injected will stimulate the patient’s immune system to develop antibodies that will be selective for the target opioid.”

While intuitive, the work remains difficult. Still, Pravetoni hopes to move to clinical trials in the coming years, and eventually, release the vaccine for those who suffer from opioid addiction.


Share this post

You may also like:

Dr. Badrinath Konety, MD, MBA, Head, Department of Urology has been named as the new CEO of University of Minnesota Physicians (UMP) and Vice Dean of Clinical Affairs for the Medical School.

Leading bioethics and legal scholars from the University of Minnesota and University of Houston are sounding the alarm about a recent report from the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine in a recent Policy Forum article appearing in Science.

Researchers uncover the best ways to address health disparities impacting black men in a special supplement through several studies presented by The Center for Healthy African American Men through Partnerships (CHAAMPS).