Allergy biomarkers could track treatment response

Stallergenes, a company specializing in allergy immunotherapies, has discovered two biomarker candidates that could help therapists monitor how well a treatment is working, as well as act as measuring points in clinical trials. Allergy immunotherapies "desensitize" the body to allergens such as pollen, dust mites or animal fur, thereby reducing asthma or hay fever symptoms and potentially cutting the need for antihistamines. The easiest route for treatment is a tablet under the tongue, and this biomarker research could start to untangle just how this works.

In a paper published in The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, grass pollen allergy sufferers were treated with Stallergenes's sublingual tablets or placebo and exposed to grass pollen allergens over four months. The patients who responded to the treatment had increased levels of two markers in their blood--complement component 1 (C1Q) and stabilin-1 (STAB1)--compared with those who did not respond to the treatment.

"We're very pleased with these initial data showing the potential for two biomarkers," stated Philippe Moingeon, Stallergenes' VP of research and pharmaceutical development."Once their validity confirmed in larger studies, such biomarkers for short-term efficacy easily detected in peripheral blood could allow the development of new diagnostic tests for better follow-up of patients in daily practice and even the development of new allergy treatments."

- read the Stallergenes release
- see the abstract