Red cedar allergy DNA vax hits the clinic

Japanese red cedar is a huge tree that can hit 70 meters tall, and it manages to get up the noses of almost half the people in Japan--around 45% of the population is allergic to its pollen. Immunomic Therapeutics is developing a DNA plasmid-based allergy vax for this allergy, code-named JRC-LAMP-vax, and has been cleared by the U.S. FDA to begin a Phase I clinical trial in Atlanta in June 2012. The immunotherapy is likely to have a lucrative market in the U.S. as well as in Japan, as North American mountain cedar pollen is similar enough that the shot will work against both targets. In clinical studies of other DNA LAMP vaccines, the shots "re-educate" the immune system, desensitizing people against the allergen. Press release