Virtual Conference
Pharma Conference 2022

Asya Berzina

National Scientific Center of Narcology , Russian Federation

Title: Development of an anti-idiotypic vaccine against opiate addiction using an adjuvant - nanoparticles from birch bark extract


In the light of modern concepts in drug addiction practice, efforts aimed at finding the methods and remedies of drug addiction treatment remain especially relevant.  Achievement of stable remission and prevention of disease relapse are important goals in this area.  It has been shown that a significant effect in the treatment and prevention of drug addiction can be achieved with the help of immunotherapy.  When creating a vaccine against opiate addiction, we were the first to suggest using anti-idiotypic antibodies (Ab2) against the two derivatives of morphine (3-o carboxymethyl and 6-hemisuccinyl ethers) as an immunogen.  The horse polyclonal Ab2 were obtained, which manifested themselves in the ELISA reaction similarly to the original antigens, derivatives of morphine.  In an in vitro model, Ab2 exhibited morphine-like properties: they stimulated DNA synthesis in human T98G glioblastoma cells.  This effect was completely blocked by naloxone hydrochloride at the µ-opiate receptor level.  Immunization of mini pigs with affinity purified horse Ab2 with Freund’s adjuvant led to the appearance of anti-morphine antibodies in their blood.  The antibody titer was 1.2 x10-4. To create an improved pharmaceutical composition of an anti-idiotypic vaccine, the possibility of using nanoparticles from birch bark extract, was investigated. Animals received three subcutaneous injections of the antigen at a dose of 0.1 mg/kg with an interval of 14 days. The addition of an aqueous suspension of nanoparticles to the immunogen samples up to a final concentration of 1.0 mg/ml led to an increase in the immune response. No side effects were observed. The antibody titers in blood sera on the 60th and 90th days from the start of immunization were comparable to those obtained under similar conditions using Freund’s adjuvant. The experiments carried out to test the immunogenic properties of Ab2 in mini pigs (human biomodel) suggest that the horse Ab2 against morphine derivatives are a good candidate for creating a vaccine against drug addiction in humans.


Asya Berzina defended her PhD thesis at the age of 30 at Moscow State University. She has over 50 publications and her publication h-index is 6.