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Nabi Biopharmaceuticals begins human testing of novel vaccine to fight nicotine addiction

Rockville, Maryland, June 12, 2002 Nabi Biopharmaceuticals (Nasdaq: NABI) announced today that they have initiated NicVAX™ (Nicotine Conjugate Vaccine) phase I testing in humans. NicVAX is a proprietary and novel investigational vaccine designed to help the body develop antibodies that bind to nicotine and block it from reaching the brain. If shown to be safe and effective in subsequent clinical trials, NicVAX may help millions of people worldwide kick their addiction to cigarettes and tobacco products.

"NicVAX is an entirely new approach to fighting and preventing nicotine addiction," said David J. Gury, Nabi Biopharmaceuticals chairman, president and chief executive officer.

Of the 48 million adult U.S. smokers, about 70 percent, or nearly 34 million people have made at least one attempt to stop, yet only 1.2 million quit permanently, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

"The reason quitting smoking is so difficult is because nicotine is highly addictive," according to Robert Naso, Ph.D., Nabi Biopharmaceuticals senior vice president of quality, regulatory and product development. "When a person smokes, nicotine enters the body and goes straight to the brain, where it generates positive sensations, such as pleasure and relaxation. However, the body does not develop antibodies against nicotine, no matter how much or for how long a person smokes. Based on earlier animal studies, NicVAX is a technology that enables the body to develop antibodies to nicotine. We believe that these antibodies, acting much like a sponge, will soak up the nicotine, preventing it from reaching the brain."

"By reducing the amount of nicotine available to stimulate the brain's pleasure centers, an immunized tobacco user would theoretically receive no positive reinforcement from nicotine use," according to Dr. Naso. In pre-clinical animal studies NicVAX generated antibodies that reduced nicotine levels in the brain by
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12-Jun-2002


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