Allergy Vaccine: December 2006 Archives

rice plantationsPurpose of review: Plant pollens are the most common cause of seasonal allergic disease. The number of patients undergoing treatment for allergies to the pollen of Japanese cedar (major antigens: Cry j 1 and Cry j 2) has increased steadily each year. Integration of an effective, safe and inexpensive clinical program would be greatly improved by addressing deficiencies in systemically delivered immunotherapy.

Recent findings: We have demonstrated that feeding mice transgenic rice seeds accumulating the T-cell epitope peptides of Cry j 1 and Cry j 2 before systemic challenge with total protein of cedar pollen inhibits the development of allergen-specific IgE, IgG and CD4+ T-cell proliferative responses. The levels of allergen-specific CD4+ T-cell-derived allergy-associated T-helper 2 cytokine of IL-4, IL-5, and IL-13 and histamine release in serum were also significantly decreased. Moreover, clinical symptoms were inhibited in an experimental sneezing-mouse model.

Allergy Therapeutics says vaccine passes study

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allergy therapeutics LONDON, Dec 7 (Reuters) - Biotech group Allergy Therapeutics Plc <AGY.L> said on Thursday a Phase IIa study of its orally delivered hay fever vaccine showed it to be safe and effective.

The company said it was now confident that it can go ahead and develop the vaccine, which could be the first ever oral alternative to existing injectable treatments.

"These results provide the first indication that we have the technology to deliver a painless, injection-free potentially curative allergy treatment," Chief Executive Keith Carter said.

Analysts at Bridgewell -- which has a buy rating on the stock -- said that the statement was "good news that could uniquely position the drug against its competitors".

© Reuters 2006