, Volume 21, Issue 4, pp 259–267 | Cite as

Biotechnology and the Treatment of Addictive Disorders

  • Ahmed ElkashefEmail author
  • Jamie Biswas
  • Jane B. Acri
  • Frank Vocci
Novel Therapeutic Strategies


Addiction is a chronic relapsing illness with onset typically occurring in the early teenage years, followed by cycles of drug use and abstinence. The disease is mitigated by complex interactions between genes and environment. Viewed as such, the treatment of addiction could span the whole lifetime of the patient and, ideally, should be tailored to the illness cycle. The search for effective treatments has intensified recently due to our better understanding of the underlying neurobiologic mechanisms contributing to drug use and relapse. The three main types of treatment are behavioral, pharmacologic and, more recently, immunologic therapies. Vaccines and monoclonal antibodies are being developed mainly for stimulant use disorders and nicotine addiction. In addition, new molecular targets identified by preclinical research have shown promise and are awaiting proof-of-concept studies in humans. The main focus of this review is on the development of immunotherapy for stimulants and nicotine addiction as a model highlighting the current status of the science and potential emerging discoveries and development.


Nicotine Cocaine Methamphetamine Modafinil Varenicline 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



No sources of funding were used to assist in the preparation of this review. The authors have no conflicts of interest that are directly relevant to the content of this review.


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Copyright information

© Adis Data Information BV 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ahmed Elkashef
    • 1
    Email author
  • Jamie Biswas
    • 1
  • Jane B. Acri
    • 1
  • Frank Vocci
    • 1
  1. 1.Division of Pharmacotherapies and Medical Consequences of Drug Abuse (DPMC)National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), National Institutes of Health (NIH)BethesdaUSA

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