THE ALLERGIC PROBLEM
Each year, more than 50 million Americans suffer from allergic diseases including rhinitis, sinusitis, dermatitis, asthma, food allergy and anaphylaxis.
People with allergies develop adverse immunological reactions to normally harmless substances. Many factors commonly found in the environment can provoke an allergic response. Common grass and tree pollens, mold spores, house dust mites, cockroaches, and animal dander (shed skin, fur, or feathers) are among the most common allergens. They can enter the body through a number of routes: ingestion, inhalation, injection, or bites.
Allergies cause symptoms – congestion, itching, coughing, sneezing, watery eyes, wheezing, inflammation and fatigue. Allergies that start as eczema or gastrointestinal problems can evolve into asthma. These symptoms clearly affect the quality of life of patients, and in some cases, can be life-threatening and lead to a condition known as anaphylaxis.
IMMUNOTHERAPY FOR THE TREATMENT OF VACCINES HAS BEEN IN PRACTICE FOR OVER 100 YEARS.
It has the potential to drastically reduce the dependence on drugs such as Benadryl, Claritin and other drugs that treat symptoms only.
Standard immunotherapy involves subcutaneous delivery of small amounts of allergen over many months or years of continuous therapy. Therapy often involves 100 or more shots. More recently, allergen has been formulated as sublingual drops which can be delivered daily or weekly during allergy season. Since conventional immunotherapy utilizes allergen or allergenic proteins, the patient may be at risk for adverse events including anaphylaxis.
LAMP-VAX ALLERGY THERAPEUTIC VACCINES
Relative to standard allergy immunotherapy, LAMP-vax allergy vaccines are being developed to potentially offer several advantages. These include:
Dosing Regimen: As currently being tested, LAMP-Vax is delivered as 4 immunizations. This meant to provide an alternative to the 100 or more allergy shots that are often required.
Exposure to Allergens through Therapy: Further, by virtue of the way that LAMP-Vax nucleic acid vaccines process the allergen, they are designed not to expose subjects to free allergen. This could be a featured that reduces the risk of treatment-related adverse immune reactions, potentially including anaphylaxis, often seen with standard immunotherapy approaches that involve injecting actual allergen.
Proposed Mechanism: Immunotherapy often involves creation of “tolerance” – a process that incorporates a different set of immune cells than what LAMP-Vax is designed to do. LAMP-Vax aims to reverses the “net allergic charge” in the immune system, moving from an IgE / Th2 allergenic response to an IgG / Th1 response. To support this hypothesis, ITI has observed a strong Th1 response to potent allergens like flea, red cedar and peanut, following LAMP-vax immunotherpy In model animal systems.
In our first human study for JRC-LAMP-Vax, we observed that the LAMP-vax therapy reversed the skin test profile of the subjects. We also observed that the specific therapy induced skin test conversion of non-related allergens.