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I'm not sure that I had heard or read about this here before. This is from Pfizer's 3rd quarter? report:

he Phase III development program is complete for varenicline, an innovative treatment for smoking cessation. Data are being prepared for global registrations and will be presented at November's American Heart Association meeting. Earlier data showed that varenicline represented an advance over existing prescription smoking-cessation treatments. In two Phase II trials evaluating the efficacy, safety, and tolerability of different doses of varenicline in healthy smokers, about half the smokers treated with varenicline (1 mg daily) stopped smoking.

It is estimated that 1.25 billion people smoke worldwide and that nearly 5 million premature deaths every year can be attributed to smoking. Even though 70 percent of smokers report thinking of quitting or actively want to quit, no more than 5 percent of patients can quit on their own due to the chronic, relapsing nature of this addictive medical condition. Varenicline was designed to selectively target certain receptors in the brain to reduce craving and withdrawal symptoms, as well as block the rewards from smoking that perpetuate dependence. Pfizer plans to submit the NDA for varenicline by the end of 2005.

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