Relief For 10 Million Eczema Sufferers In Sight

by Mel on June 29, 2010

Allergies Eczema.  Eczema Allergies

The two go hand in hand.  If we could cut out allergies we could significantly reduce the amount of eczema.

At last there is hope of a solution

An immunization that is being hailed as the “Holy Grail” of vaccine research that would ward off allergy is nearing completion of the developmental stage.

An Allergy Conference in London has heard that scientists from Cytos Biotechnology, a firm based in Zurich, have developed a vaccine that could largely eradicate multiple allergies with a single jab.

The jab at this stage is only known as CYT003-QbG10 but initial human trials indicate that it will have the power to protect against asthma, eczema, hay fever, dust, and cat and peanut allergies.

A Single Jab

The beauty of the jab is that it is believed that a single jab will have the ability to protect against multiple allergies making it more cost effective and easier to manufacture and administer.

Dr Wolfgang Renner, from the jab’s inventors Cytos Biotechnology, said: ‘We think it is a one-size-fits-all mechanism. We are very excited about it.’

Small scale human trials have commenced and Dr Renner hopes for the first large scale trials to commence next year and the immunization on sale in four to five years.

Atopic eczema, the most common form of eczema, is an allergy based condition treated by topical creams, steroids and anti-histamine pills.  All of these treatments are short acting and only control the symptoms.  None are getting at the root of the cause of the allergies.

Reprogramming The Immune System

It is believed that the new jab is reprogramming the immune system.  At the heart of the jab is synthetic DNA that fools the body into thinking it is under attack from a dangerous bug.  This causes the immune system to start a multi-pronged immune response.

Immunotherapy, where patients are repeatedly injected with small doses of the compound they are allergic to is already available, although not widely used because of fears over its safety and the extended period of time (years) required for the course to be given.

New Jab Has Few Side Effects

Leanne Metcalf, director of Research at Asthma UK, said: ‘We are, excited about the potential of this vaccine to make a real difference to people with asthma and allergies, especially as it has been shown in clinical trials to have relatively few side effects.’

It is not clear how often the new vaccine would have to be given.

But the Cytos scientists envisage an initial short course of jabs, followed up by a booster session two or three years later.

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