NIDA Backs Research on Vaccine Against Heroin, HIV

The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) has issued a $5 million grant to Gary Matyas, PhD, to support his research into a new vaccine that could treat heroin addiction as well as prevent HIV infection in those receiving the vaccine. Matyas, of the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research (WRAIR) in Silver Spring, Md., is the 2012 recipient of the NIDA Avant-Garde Award for Medications Development and will receive $1 million a year for five years.

NIDA and WRAIR began a research collaboration on development of the joint vaccine two years ago. At this point, the heroin component of the combination vaccine has been created and is ready for advanced preclinical testing. Matyas noted that “The possibility of creating a combination heroin-HIV vaccine provides an important opportunity to address both a unique treatment for heroin abuse as well as continuing the quest to develop an effective preventive HIV vaccine.”

Source: American Psychiatric Association – July 26, 2012