New Vaccine Might Make Hay Fever a Thing of the Past

New Vaccine Might Make Hay Fever a Thing of the Past

Within 3 years, scientists will have an efficient vaccine that could completely eradicate grass pollen allergy.

Seasonal allergic rhinitis, or, as it is more commonly known, hay fever, affects an estimated 400 million people worldwide. Some common symptoms of this pesky allergy include runny nose, irritated eyes, cough and severe breathing problems, and tend to crop up in the spring, when the air is filled with pollen. Instead of getting to enjoy first sunny days and lovely weather of the year, hay fever sufferers have to struggle with exhausting and, often, overwhelming symptoms of their allergy.

But, it seems that suffering that people allergic to grass pollen have to endure each year has come to an end- or, at least, it will, in near future. A team of scientists from the Medical University of Vienna, in partnership with an allergy therapeutics company, Biomay AG, predicts that their revolutionary new vaccine that deals with hay fever symptoms will be approved and available to the public by 2021.

The vaccine is currently in the testing stage, but the Phase IIb study revealed promising results: vaccine BM32 lessened the severity of hay fever symptoms, by 25% in more severe cases and up to 60% in some people. The team of researchers that’s synthesizing and studying the effects of this, potentially, groundbreaking vaccine, are optimistic when it comes to its efficacy. Over the period of several years, regular inoculation could completely cure the allergy, the team claims.

While they were testing the efficacy of the BM32 vaccine, researchers noticed that it might also be an effective treatment for hepatitis B and could also bring relief to asthma patients. The good news don’t stop there, as Dr Rudolf Valenta, the lead researcher in the study, believes that the formula can be tweaked to help people suffering from different types of allergies, including those to dust mites, birch pollen, ragweed, or cats.

A follow-on Phase III study and a preventative child vaccination study is scheduled to start next year, in hopes to get the needed approval within the 3-year timeline.

Photo credit: Kirsten Warner/Shutterstock

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