Swiss researchers claim to have found a 'one size fits all' allergy shot for hay fever, asthma and eczema, adding that it could be available within four to five years, the Telegraph reports. The vaccine is formed of synthetic DNA similar to those found in the bug that causes tuberculosis, Marie Claire reports. The DNA tricks the body into thinking it is under attack from a dangerous bug, prompting a multi-pronged response.
Experts say CYT003-Qbg10, as the shot is known, has been tested on humans. And data from a trial conducted by Zurich-based Cytos Biotechnology has shown that a course of the vaccine was almost as good as steroids at keeping asthma under control. Researchers say that 63 asthma patients were given the jab or a series of injections of a dummy drug over a three month period. The results of the tests showed the shot could cut asthma attacks or symptoms by a third, Vaccine News Daily reports. A separate trial found the injections cut the amount of runny noses and weepy eyes by almost 39 percent and that quality of life was boosted by 42 percent.
"It does sound a very promising treatment, giving hope for those with severe asthma or allergy symptoms for whom the usual treatments aren't enough, but there is still a long way to go before it will be available." notes an Allergy UK spokesman, as quoted by Marie Claire.
Word of the promising results come as Cytos looks to clinch a partnering deal worth more than 600 million Swiss francs ($541 million) for the vaccine, Reuters reports. CEO Wolfgang Renner said in an interview with Swiss weekly Handelszeitung the group was starting talks to sell the licence for the drug.
Cytos is working on the development of a novel class of biopharmaceutical products known as Immunodrugs, which are therapeutic vaccines intended for use in the treatment and prevention of chronic diseases that afflict millions worldwide, the company says on its website.