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Kyushu University develops treatment for eradicating allergies from infancy without side effects


Allergen immunotherapy, which is the direct administration of allergen, is used as a radical treatment for hay fever. However, there are issues with adherence as many patients stop taking their medication because of the high incidence of side effects (e.g., swelling inside the mouth or throat and itching) and the need for long-term daily medication lasting several years. In addition, this treatment may not be applicable to patients with severe bronchial asthma and atopic dermatitis.

A research group of Associate Professor Takeshi Mori, Professor Yoshiki Katayama, and Shunyi Li of the Graduate School of Systems Life Sciences, Kyushu University; Lecturer Daisuke Murakami of the Department of Otorhinolaryngology Head & Neck Surgery at Kyushu University Hospital, Professor Koji Hase and Graduate Student Hiroki Toriumi of the Faculty of Pharmacy at Keio University, developed a method to mass-produce nanoparticles of allergen proteins coated with mannan extracted from yeast cell walls. The study was published in Biomaterials.

Breaking the allergic march early using mannan-coated allergenic nanoparticles. Because of its high safety, this method may be applicable to infants and young children. It also has the potential to break the "allergic march," in which a person affected by allergies and becomes allergic to different allergies one after another, at an early stage, thereby reducing the number of allergic patients in the future.
Provided by Kyushu University

Compared to conventional administration of allergen proteins, oral administration of these novel nanoparticles to allergy model mice did not induce anaphylactic reactions and achieved higher therapeutic efficacy. Because of the mannan-coated allergen, the nanoparticles did not react with antibodies, demonstrating a high safety profile. Moreover, as mannan delivered the allergen to dendritic cells and facilitated tolerance induction in them, the nanoparticles efficiently induced regulatory T cells.

Owing to the high therapeutic efficiency and efficacy of this new technique, a shorter treatment duration is expected with the mannan-coated allergen nanoparticles. Their high safety profile also supports their potential application to infants and patients with severe allergies for whom conventional allergen immunotherapy is unsuitable. Furthermore, the nanoparticles have the potential to become therapeutic drugs to stop the allergic march, which refers to a course of allergic manifestations that develop over time once a patient becomes allergic, before it progresses.

The research group has initiated a clinical study at the Kyushu University Hospital and aims to achieve clinical application within a decade.

Journal Information
Publication: Biomaterials
Title: Safe and efficient oral allergy immunotherapy using one-pot-prepared mannan-coated allergen nanoparticles
DOI: 10.1016/j.biomaterials.2023.122381

This article has been translated by JST with permission from The Science News Ltd. ( Unauthorized reproduction of the article and photographs is prohibited.

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