ToleroMune® allergy immunotherapies
Allergies are extremely common, with allergic rhinitis affecting an estimated 10 – 20% of the world’s population. As a result, over 1 billion people are affected by allergic diseases, and the number is predicted to grow substantially. In the United States, allergic rhinitis affects approximately 50 million people, resulting in over 10 million visits to the physician’s office each year.
Allergic rhinitis is characterized by sneezing, blocked nose and itching and burning eyes, and allergies can cause skin rashes and itching as well as wheezing or chest constriction. Allergy can greatly impact quality of life, cause sleep problems and fatigue, reduce concentration and limit social functioning. It also has significant financial consequences, with lost productivity and increased absenteeism, increased medication costs and more health professional visits. In the US, annual total costs were estimated at over $11 billion in 2005, and 3.5 million work days and 2 million school days are lost annually.
Existing therapies, such as antihistamines, corticosteroids and leukotriene antagonists, can provide temporary symptom relief, but don’t modify the underlying condition. In contrast, allergen immunotherapy can offer long-term relief by re-educating the immune system to tolerate the allergen rather than ‘fight’ it. However, treatment can take several years and is associated with significant levels of adverse reactions, including in some cases the potential for life-threatening anaphylactic reactions.
Unlike current immunotherapies, the treatments we’re developing use synthetic short peptides identified from allergens using our ToleroMune® technology. This approach aims to modify patients’ underlying allergy with a short-course of treatment with a favorable safety profile.