(12 Nov 1995) English/Nat

Millions of people across the world suffer from one sort of allergy or another – in some cases it can prove fatal.

Now a small British company believes it may have developed a solution.

Tests of a new vaccine on 13 patients with severe food allergies have been 100 per cent successful.

It’s estimated that at least 66 (m) million people in the developed world suffer from some sort of allergic reaction. 13 (m) million alone have asthma.

The medical costs of treating these patients runs into (b) billions of dollars.

Now after more than 30 years of research scientists believe they may have the answer – an Active Allergy Vaccine.

Their aim has been to stop an allergic reaction even before it starts.

These pictures show what happens when an allergen substance is injected onto the stomach wall. Blistering and blanching of the lining and severe muscular contraction proved the patient was allergic to that particular substance.

The test was repeated but this time after the allergy vaccine had been injected. There was no reaction.

The vaccine works by generating antibodies in the body and stopping the triggering of mast cells. These mast cells release histamine and I think most people are aware of histamine treatment for hay fever and allergic rhinitis .Where we think the vaccine is working is in blocking this mast cell triggering of histamine release and it is universal against allergens irrespective of their source whether it is pollen food or bee stings.
SUPER CAPTION: Daniel Roach, Peptide Therapeutics

The tests were carried out on 13 patients in Poland. They were each given the vaccine and then fed meals with and without the allergen that causes them problems. Neither doctor or patient knew which meal was which.

The tests were 100 per cent successful. Not one of the patients suffered an allergic reaction.

They were over the moon. In fact two of the patients immediately went out and ate large amounts of food to which they had been denied for the last 25 years.
SUPER CAPTION: Dr Harold Amos, Peptide Therapeutics

But there is still a long way to go. Researchers will now study their patients over the next year to gauge the long-term effect of the vaccine.

Nevertheless the initial results are encouraging.

And the potential market is enormous.

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