Scientists ID new class of allergy, asthma drugs

Scientists in the U.K. have identified a molecule that they say plays a critical role in the development of allergies. A team from Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry say that p110delta is more important that p110gamma in the chain reaction of allergic responses. Both molecules come from a family of enzymes known at PI3Ks, which play a role in a variety of diseases.

The researchers found that by interfering with the molecule, they were able to interrupt the allergic chain reaction without causing the immune system to shut down. Their work points to a new class of allergy and asthma drugs to replace a current generation of therapeutics targeted at controling the symptoms of the disease.

"P110delta was first identified in 1997 and, although we had our suspicions, at that time we had no idea how important it would turn out to be," said lead scientist Dr. Khaled Ali. "This work shows that we have the potential to take control of the body's reaction to an allergen and prevent symptoms from occurring."  

- read the report from the Press Association