About Allergy Immunotherapy
Immunotherapy: A Long History
Allergy immunotherapy is the only therapy that has been clinically proven to effectively diminish or eliminate allergy symptoms. It has been used in clinical settings for respiratory allergies for more than 100 years in the form of anti-allergy shots (subcutaneous immunotherapy, or SCIT), formulated drops (sublingual immunotherapy, or SLIT), and tablets.
Immunotherapy introduces small amounts of purified, allergy-triggering proteins (allergens) to the body in a carefully controlled way. This can fundamentally change how the body responds to allergens over the course of therapy. It is the only disease-modifying approach to allergy treatment. While symptom reduction usually occurs within a few months of consistent treatment, patients are more likely to obtain persistent reduction of allergy symptoms when immunotherapeutic treatment continues for 3-5 years.
To date, immunotherapy for food allergies has only been carried out in experimental settings. Approaches include eating the allergens (oral immunotherapy, or OIT), under-the-tongue SLIT drops, and skin patches (epicutaneous immunotherapy, or EPIT), each of which has its own limitations. There is currently no FDA-approved method for applying this powerful technique to the treatment of food allergies.
OMIT: A Novel Approach to Food Allergy
Oral mucosal immunotherapy (OMIT) is a novel method of allergy immunotherapy. OMIT is administered via a specialized toothpaste immunotherapy delivery platform. This system is specially formulated to incorporate and stabilize immunotherapeutic agents. Purified immunotherapeutic agents – extracts of foods known to commonly cause allergies – are added to the base during the manufacturing process. The final toothpaste will be available by prescription from a physician. It can be used by the patient as part of an everyday brushing routine.
OMIT Solves Pressing Problems
OMIT delivers immunotherapeutic agents to the areas of the oral cavity with the highest concentration of Langerhans Cells (LCs), a type of antigen-presenting cell. These immune system cells have been shown to be pivotal in reducing allergic sensitization. By targeting these cells, the OMIT approach increases the likelihood of decreasing allergy symptoms and improving the health of allergy sufferers.
OMIT does not involve ingestion of allergens, which may reduce the risk of systemic reactions that have been documented with other immunotherapy approaches.
Additionally, OMIT supports long-term commitment to treatment by building immunotherapy into a patient’s everyday tooth brushing routine. Since long-term adherence is key to producing a lasting reduction in symptoms, this simple innovation has the potential to improve outcomes for allergy treatment.
Intrommune Therapeutics is developing products to treat major, life-threatening food allergies using the OMIT platform. We are working with leading researchers at academic centers to investigate the mechanisms and clinical strategies that lead to successful, long-term desensitization.