Asthma and Multiple Sclerosis may have met their match.
Scientists have developed a new immuno-therapy technique that nearly eliminates the allergic response to peanut and egg white proteins in food-allergic mice, reducing the anaphylactic response by up to 90% with only one treatment.
University of Saskatchewan researcher Professor John Gordon says it may have applications to asthma and MS patients.
Gordon says the discovery involves generating a type of naturally occurring immune cell that sends a signal to reverse the hyper-immune response present in allergic reactions.
That signal triggers another “off switch” that turns off reactive cells further along the allergic pathway.
He notes in MS models they have been able to dramatically reduce spinal chord and brain lesions, and they are working to see if they can extend that and correct the disease.
The findings open the door to test this new allergy treatment in “humanized mice” – mice with non-existent immune systems implanted with cells from a human immune system, for example, from a peanut-allergic person.
With Health Canada approval, Gordon says the first human trial could begin in about one year.
He predicts the treatment could be on the market in the next 5 to 10 years.