A novel vaccine designed to treat ragweed allergy significantly improved nasal symptoms for at least 2 years, according to a study presented here at the 52nd annual scientific meeting of the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology. In addition, patients given the vaccine showed similar trends in symptom relief, regardless of how severely allergic they were to ragweed at baseline.
"We're very excited about this," said Eduardo Martins, MD, vice-president for clinical development at Dynavax Technologies, the San Francisco-based company developing the Tolamba ragweed allergy vaccine. "There have been 14 research trials to date with different dosages, and although they've been small, trial after trial, we've had consistently good results like this for patients across the board."
This randomized placebo-controlled study — the largest to date on this ragweed vaccine — included 462 people aged 18 to 55 years with confirmed ragweed allergy. One group received 6 weekly injections of the vaccine in incremental doses; the other group received injected placebo. Patients were then followed for 2 allergy seasons and asked to electronically report their daily hayfever symptoms, medication use, and related factors.