Dr. Richard Jones
A desire to give up a bad habit was the driving force
behind one of the most successful inventions to come out of the University
of Alberta. Dr. Richard Jones, a professor of Pulmonary Medicine,
developed and patented a nicotine nasal spray, which is effective in
helping people quit smoking.
The idea for the nasal spray came to him in 1989, when he was flying as a
bush pilot in northern Canada. Two men who had been isolated deep in the
woods, without cigarettes, showed him a remedy they had created for their
nicotine cravings. Their solution consisted of scavenged cigarette butts
that were liquefied and then put into an empty nasal spray container, so
the men could inhale their homemade brew. Jones brought this idea back to
the University, and experimented with different formulas, often acting as
his own guinea pig.
After finding a solution that worked, Jones had to
convince the University, the patent agent, the patent examiner and the
potential licensee of the novel aspects and importance of his invention.
In fact, he had to write more than 150 letters in support of his
discovery. The invention was patented in 1995 and licensed to Pharmacia, a
large Swedish pharmaceutical company. It is not yet available in Canada,
but is sold in the Europe, as well as the United States, where the product
is manufactured as Nicotrol,
through pharmaceutical company Pfizer Inc.
Jones has been with the University of Alberta since
1971 and is currently working on improving the nasal spray with smaller
doses of nicotine. He has recently received the patent, and is now looking
for a company to market his product.
of the information on this page is from "Patent
Portraits, A Celebration of Inventions and Patents from the University of
Alberta," published in 1996 by the Office of the Vice-President
(Research and External Affairs) in collaboration with the Industry Liaison
Office, now known as the Research Services Office.
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