Swiss scientists believe they have found a treatment for the millions of people suffering from allergic asthma, including all the side effects like itchy, watery eyes, eczema, hay fever and sneezing. They believe that it will only take one shot to ease the suffering for many allergic conditions and are optimistic that it will be available within four years.
The researchers at Zurich based Cytos Biotechnology, who are developing the shot, believe that using immunotechnology is the key to helping allergy sufferers. Immunotechnology is where patients are injected with very small doses of what they are actually allergic to in order to help their body become accustomed slowly to the allergen.
According to the American Academy of Allergies, Asthma and Immunology (AAAAI) immunotherapy helps to reduce the symptoms in approximately 85 percent of people with allergies.
The shot- known as CYT003-QbG10 - is made up of synthetic DNA. The DNA tricks the body into thinking it is being attached by a dangerous bug and thus starts a series of immune responses.
A single shot with the ability to protect against multiple allergies leads scientists to believe that the shot is reconditioning the immune system by tackling the root cause of the allergies themselves.
Attendees of an allergy conference in London heard all about the “one size fits all” shot to stop the effects of everything from asthma, hay fever, eczema and even peanut allergies. It has been found that using CYT003-QbG10 was as effective as steroids at fighting allergic asthma.
Cytos conducted trials using 63 patients that required long-term treatment for their condition. They were removed from their corticosteroid medication and monitored for the next three months. At the conclusion of the trials it was noted that those given a placebo experienced a worsening of their condition and those with the shot, even though they were no longer using their usual medication, experienced a marked improvement in their symptoms.
“Asthma allergies contribute greatly to the growing burden of chronic diseases that inflict our societies and have reached epidemic proportions worldwide; principally as a result of increased industrialization and urban living,” explained Dr. Wolfgang Renner, CEO of Cytos. “Allergic asthma is a significant cause of morbidity and mortality, often affecting individuals early in their lives. With QbG10, we are within reach of a product with the potential to become the first causally acting and disease modifying therapy for allergic diseases addressing important unmet medical needs."
Currently people suffering from allergies and hay fever take antihistamine tablets and steroids to combat symptoms but Cytos estimated that in the future patients can take a short course of shots initially, followed by a booster shot every two to three years. Cytos hopes to start testing people soon on a much larger scale.