Brushing Your Teeth While Combating Your Food Allergy: One Company is Working to Make This Reality
Food allergies affect 15 million Americans, including 1 in 13 children, at a cost of $25 billion per year. While there is no official treatment for food allergies, there has been a rise in popularity in Oral Immunotherapy treatment.
If you’re not familiar with Oral Immunotherapy, it’s when patients are fed small incremental amounts of protein to which they are allergic in a carefully controlled manner over a period of time. Typically immunotherapy takes place in a treatment center, and then is continued at home after 8-10 months. The regular consumption of the allergen can fundamentally change how the body responds to allergens over the course of therapy. Symptom reduction usually occurs within a few months of consistent treatment, although persistent reduction of allergy symptoms has been show when immunotherapeutic treatment continues for 3-5 years.
Intrommune Therapeutics is a new biopharmaceutical company based out of NYC that is working to simplify treatment for food allergies by providing convenient new options for food allergy sufferers through their Oral Mucosal Immunotherapy. Essentially, they are working to create an allergy immunotherapy toothpaste which contains peanut allergens. They say:
Oral mucosal immunotherapy (OMIT) is a novel form of allergen-specific immunotherapy. Immunotherapy has a 100-year track record of use for respiratory allergies. OMIT improves upon this approach by delivering immunotherapeutic agents to the areas of the oral cavity with the highest likelihood of decreasing allergy symptoms.
Our approach to allergy immunotherapy is built around the OMIT therapeutic platform, a specially formulated toothpaste that incorporates and stabilizes pharmaceutical grade extracts used for food allergy immunotherapy.Â Clinical investigations led by Intrommune are developing this technique for the treatment of food allergies. OMIT offers the potential of a long-term solution for the 220 million, including 15 million Americans, who have food allergies.
Experimental studies have found immunotherapy to be a promising approach to the treatment of food allergies. Intrommune’s OMIT platform provides a simpler way to perform food allergy immunotherapy. This platform is intended to solve existing problems with immunotherapy by facilitating long-term, consistent use of treatment and reducing the risk of serious side effects by optimizing the route of administration.
Their initial lead product is INT-301 for treating peanut allergy, which currently addresses an unmet medical need for over 3 million Americans. In an interview with Alley Watch, they said:
Intrommune Therapeutics is developing a novel therapeutic platform for food allergies that works while users brush their teeth. The proprietary platform is called oral mucosal immunotherapy (OMIT). The lead product candidate is INT-301 for treating peanut allergy, which addresses an unmet medical need for millions of people worldwide (including upwards of 3 million Americans) with a potentially deadly allergy to peanut. INT-301 will allow users to seamlessly integrate disease-modifying treatment for peanut allergy into their everyday routines. With long-term, consistent use of the product, it is expected that peanut allergic users will fundamentally decrease their sensitivity to peanuts and reducing the ever-present fear of accidental ingestion of even minute amounts of peanut.
OMIT greatly improves upon other investigational techniques for allergy immunotherapy by integrating therapy into the daily routine and targeting the entire surface of the oral cavity, which is expected to optimize therapeutic effects. Allergy immunotherapy is the only approach that has been shown to treat the root cause of allergic diseases. The effectiveness of immunotherapy greatly relies on a users long-term, consistent use of the treatment.
Techniques like oral immunotherapy (OIT), where patients eat their allergen, and sublingual immunotherapy (SLIT), where patients hold liquid allergen extracts under the tongue, are difficult or unpleasant to administer, and challenging to fit into a daily routine. In addition, there is a potential for serious side effects, especially with OIT. Another immunotherapy option under investigation is an allergen-coated patch that delivers immunotherapy via the skin. However, immunological changes from these patches appear to take longer to develop for many users than with SLIT and OIT. OMIT is expected to optimize user-friendliness and efficacy compared to these other approaches. We will test these (and many more) aspects of the technology in upcoming clinical trials.
Intrommune is currently securing a Series A round of financing and are solidifying plans for clinical studies in preparation for conversations with the FDA concerning the approval of INT-301.
If you had a food allergy, would you try the INT-301 toothpaste treatment?