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BSI response to paper on a new vaccine to treat grass pollen allergy

19 January 2018

A new paper published in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology has reported on a multicentre trial to test the safety and clinical efficacy of a new vaccine against grass pollen allergy in patients with grass pollen–induced rhinitis and controlled asthma. The BSI has issued the following statement in response to this study:

Dr Louisa James, British Society for Immunology spokesperson and Lecturer in Immunology at Queen Mary University of London said:

“Niederberger and colleagues have designed a new kind of allergy vaccine which consists of synthetic fragments of allergen proteins, instead of natural extracts of allergen that have been the mainstay of allergy vaccines for over 100 years. This new vaccine has been tested in a double-blind placebo controlled trial which is the gold standard for assessing any new treatment. The results of the trial suggest that this new type of vaccine has more modest effects on allergy symptoms than we expect from traditional injection forms of allergen immunotherapy however this is offset by fewer numbers of injections overall which may prove more convenient to patients. Importantly this new vaccine has a better safety profile than traditional injection allergen immunotherapy, however the trial participants experienced a high frequency of local side effects which were unexpected and warrants further investigation in larger numbers of patients.”

The full paper that this statement is in response to can be found at: Niederberger et al. 2018 Safety and efficacy of immunotherapy with the
recombinant B-cell epitope–based grass pollen vaccine BM32. Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology DOI: