Basking in the full blossom of spring, devouring a bag of peanuts and cuddling up to the cat for some evening ‘hygge’ – most of us take these things for granted, but millions of people around the world are unable to partake due to allergies.
Well, there’s some good news for those poor souls.
Engineers from Aarhus University have discovered a new antibody that could prevent allergic reactions in patients who come into contact with pollen, food allergies and animal allergies.
So far, the research has indicated that the antibody can be used to treat all forms of allergic reactions, and it could eventually have an immense impact on the treatment of allergies in the future.
“It’s a scientific breakthrough with great potential within the ongoing research of allergy medication,” Edzard Spillner, an associate professor at the Department for Engineering Science at Aarhus University who is one of the leading researchers behind the discovery, told Ingeniøren newspaper.
“Our goal is to improve the antibody and utilise its mechanisms. It will also be relevant to proceed with pre-clinical and clinical studies as the development of a new medical treatment will take many years.”
Dabbing with 026 sdab
The discovery took place in co-operation with researchers from the biotech and molecular biology departments at Aarhus University, as well as two universities in Germany. The study has been published in the scientific journal Nature Communications.
The antibody, 026 sdab, has been known to researchers for some years now, but its properties and effect were stumbled upon by researchers in connection with an analysis of immunoglobulin E (IgE), which plays a central role in allergic reactions in humans.
When someone allergic encounters an antibody the body is sensitive to, the immune defence system reacts by producing allergy molecules in the form of immunoglobulin E, which is distributed around the bloodstream. They then attach to cells that release histamine, which then catalyses the allergic reaction.
The antibody 026 sdab prevents that allergic reaction from occurring by binding to IgE, but it can also remove IgE from the allergic effector cells that are already impacted.
“That makes the new antibody far more effective that what is currently accessible on the market,” said Spillner.
Today, only one antibody is used to treat allergic reactions and it is administered via an injection. However, the new antibody has the potential to be administered through other types of treatment methods, such as inhalation, due to its extremely stable chemical structure.
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