A completely new approach to the prevention and treatment of allergies has been pioneered by researchers at the universities of Manchester and London, who have developed a new type of drug called an allergen delivery inhibitor, or ADI.
These new drugs could potentially eradicate asthma, eczema and hay fever, treating established allergic disease in adults and
preventing its development in children.
Allergens such as pollen and house dust mite faeces enter the body by dissolving the binding material between the cells that form the
protective layer of the skin and airways.
This allows the allergens easy passage between the cells to where they cause an allergic response. Existing medicines can only ease the symptoms caused by this invasion once it has taken place, whereas the new drugs will disable allergens before they can even begin to do any damage - by preventing them from entering the body in the first place.
It is hoped that clinical trials of the new drugs will start within three years, and tablets, which would be taken once or twice a day, could be available in five years.
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