QuitPak® is an oral, non-nicotine product specifically designed for smoking cessation. QuitPak® utilizes two components that have distinctly different mechanisms of action. Each component, working in synergy with the other, addresses an element critical to the cessation process. Although each component was previously approved by the FDA, the Company originated the concept of using them in combination for smoking cessation and has received composition and use patent protection. Patents have been issued in the United States, Europe, China, Singapore, Taiwan, and Australia, and are pending in Japan, Canada, and Brazil.
The first component, mecamylamine, is a nicotine antagonist that acts at the site of addiction by blocking the nicotine receptors in the brain. By blocking the nicotine receptors, mecamylamine takes away the pleasure that a smoker receives from a cigarette and helps the smoker unlearn the addictive behavior. Until 1997, Merck marketed mecamylamine as Inversine®, a treatment for hypertension supplied in 2.5 mg. immediate release tablets. Researchers funded by NIDA uncovered the drug’s smoking cessation effect, but Merck never pursued the indication since Inversine® no longer had composition-of-matter patent protection and the company lacked a smoking cessation focus.
The second component, bupropion, is the active ingredient in Zyban®, a smoking cessation product marketed by GlaxoSmithKline, the company created by the merger of Glaxo Wellcome and SmithKline Beecham. GlaxoSmithKline first marketed bupropion as Wellbutrin®, an antidepressant. Wellbutrin’s smoking cessation activity was discovered in a study for depression, when smoking cessation was observed as a “side effect” of therapy. GlaxoSmithKline eventually redeveloped this product as Zyban® and began marketing it in 1997 for smoking cessation. While the precise mechanism of action of bupropion is unknown, scientists believe that it alters the levels of dopamine and norepinephrine in the “addiction center” of the brain. This activity provides bupropion with its smoking cessation effect, while its antidepressant qualities help to ease withdrawal symptoms.
Cary Pharmaceuticals Inc.
9903 Windy Hollow Road
Great Falls, Virginia 22066
Phone: (703) 759-7460