Peanut Allergy Vaccine Receives Fast Track Designation


An experimental DNA vaccine in the works may help treat peanut allergies.

An experimental DNA vaccine in the works may help treat peanut allergies. The FDA has granted fast track designation to the drug candidate ASP0892 from Astellas Pharma for the mitigation of severe hypersensitivity reactions from peanuts. A phase 1 trial began to evaluate the safety, immune response, and tolerability of ASP0892 in adults allergic to peanuts.

An allergy to peanuts can cause life-threatening anaphylaxis in some individuals. In the United States., peanut allergy prevalence is approximately 1.3% overall. There is no approved treatment for preventing peanut-induced allergic reactions as a result of accidental ingestion.

"In the United States alone, over 3 million people are affected by peanut allergy,” William Hearl, PhD, the founder and CEO of Immunomic Therapeutics, said in a press release. “We are glad that the FDA made this decision regarding the early LAMP-Vax research as applied to peanut allergy and look forward to further work from Astellas on this important effort.”

Astellas entered an agreement with Immunomic Therapeutics in January 2015 to grant Astellas an exclusive license to develop and commercialize ASP4070, an allergy drug, in Japan. The product, which is currently under investigation, is designed to treat allergies induced by Japanese red cedar pollen.

In October 2015, the companies entered an exclusive worldwide license agreement for LAMP-Vax products for the treatment or prevention of any and all human allergic diseases. LAMP-Vax may be able to improve the effectiveness of DNA vaccines, such as ASP0892.

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