Nabi says nicotine vaccine fails again

ROCKVILLE, Md. -- Nabi Biopharmaceuticals Inc. said Wednesday that its anti-smoking vaccine NicVAX failed in another clinical trial, as a combination of NicVAX and Pfizer's smoking-cessation pill Chantix was no better than Chantix alone in helping patients quit.

Patients in the trial took either Chantix or Chantix and NicVAX, and Nabi said the two groups were able to quit smoking at similar rates. There were 558 patients in the study, which measured their abstinence from smoking one year after the start of treatment.

Based on the results Nabi said it will not issue contingent value rights related to NicVAX. The company said it was not surprised by the study results because NicVAX failed in two late-stage clinical trials in 2011.

NicVAX is designed to train the immune system to make antibodies that will attach themselves to nicotine. The goal is to keep the nicotine molecules from reaching the brain. Nabi has been developing the drug through a partnership with GlaxoSmithKline PLC.

Shares of Nabi gained 2 cents to $1.78 in morning trading.