Clinical trials on a cocaine vaccine are currently being conducted by researchers at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas.
The vaccine which stimulates the body's immune system to attack cocaine when the prohibited drug is taken in will hopefully provide a cure for people addicted to the substance.
At the forefront of the scientific breakthrough are Dr. Tom Kosten, a psychiatry professor and his wife Therese a psychologist and neuroscientist.
The couple sought the approval of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in December for a multi-institutional trial for the cocaine vaccine by spring.
This, if successful will pave the way for the vaccine's final approval.
Dr. Kosten says most users at some point, give in to temptation and relapse, but those for whom the vaccine is effective will not get high and will then lose interest.
To date there have been more than 50 medical solutions proposed to cure cocaine addiction, but most have failed and the most effective current treatment consists of a combination of psychiatric counseling and a 12-step program; there are an estimated 2 million cocaine users in the U.S.
A similar vaccine developed in 2004 in Britain by pharmaceutical company Xenova, TA-CD, was also found to not stop the craving for cocaine it took away the kick from the drug; the trial showed those who were given TA-CD cocaine vaccine were able to stay away from the prohibited substance for six months.
Dr. Tom Kosten is also working on vaccines for methamphetamine, heroin and nicotine and the National Institute of Drug Abuse, which funded much of the research says anti-drug vaccines may provide an important weapon against addiction.