How Allergy Sufferers Can Benefit from Immunotherapy

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that close to one in three adults and more than one in every four children in America have a food allergy, seasonal allergy or eczema. Close to 6% of children and adults in the country have a food allergy and 25.7% of U.S. adults have a seasonal allergy, 7.3% have eczema, and 6.2% report having a food allergy.

Common allergy treatment approaches include medications to minimize immune system reaction and alleviate symptoms, epinephrine in emergencies and immunotherapy for severe cases. Immunotherapy is the preferred treatment option for people with allergies that do not respond to conventional treatments.

While allergy treatments such as antihistamines work by temporarily alleviating allergy symptoms, immunotherapy changes the immune system’s reaction to a specific substance to eliminate the extreme reaction. This means that immunotherapy essentially trains the immune system to adapt to the allergen, eliminating the allergic reaction at the root and keeping patients from experiencing any allergy symptoms.

Immunotherapy presents a much more effective treatment option for allergies because it fixes the main symptom-causing issues instead of just reducing the symptoms.

Before patients go through one of the three main types of allergy immunotherapy, their doctor will conduct an allergy test to determine which allergens they are allergic to. The physician will use test results to determine the kind of immunotherapy that would be most effective.

Allergy shots involve injecting a small amount of allergen mixed with a delivery liquid under the skin to accustom the immune system to the allergen. As the body becomes more accustomed to the allergen, the doctor will gradually increase the allergen’s concentration to increase resistance and reduce the risk of hyperimmune responses.

Sublingual immunotherapy only has FDA approval for the treatment of grass, dust mites and ragweed. Also known as tablet sublingual immunotherapy (SLIT), this treatment option involves placing a tablet under the tongue until it dissolves.

Food allergy immunotherapy also has minimal FDA approval, and there is only one immunotherapy with the agency’s approval. Some doctors use this option to treat allergies to eggs and other foods, but there is no medical consensus on whether food allergy immunotherapy is superior to avoidance. It is not as well established as other forms of immunotherapy and may not be as effective at treating food allergies.

Immunotherapy for allergies can improve the quality of life for people with conditions such as asthma and rhinitis by significantly reducing allergy symptoms, eliminating the need for regular medication to limit symptoms and reducing decreasing overall treatment costs.

While immunotherapy for allergies is still a long way from being universally accessible and affordable, the efforts of entities such as BiondVax Pharmaceuticals Ltd. (NASDAQ: BVXV) could gradually bring to market more affordable immunotherapies for the mass market.

NOTE TO INVESTORS: The latest news and updates relating to BiondVax Pharmaceuticals Ltd. (NASDAQ: BVXV) are available in the company’s newsroom at https://ibn.fm/BVXV

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