A team of researchers from several international universities has developed a toothpaste that promises to reduce the risk of allergic reactions for adults with peanut allergies.

The toothpaste is expected to deliver allergenic peanut proteins to the allergic person’s oral cavity, thereby gradually desensitizing the user to the allergen.

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The researchers explain that the approach relies on a type of immunotherapy dubbed Oral Mucosal Immunotherapy (OMIT) wherein the immune system is gradually desensitized to specific allergens by targeting mucous membranes in the mouth with small amounts of the allergen.

In the lab, the team tested the toothpaste, which served as a vehicle for the allergen, on two-thirds of the 32 volunteers with peanut allergies participating in the trial, while the remainder were offered a placebo.

Using blood tests to assess immune system responses to the allergens, the researchers discovered that 100% of participants tolerated even the highest dosages of the toothpaste.

The findings, which are detailed in the article “A Randomized, Placebo-Controlled Phase 1 Safety Study Of Omit In Adults With Peanut Allergy,” were presented at this year’s American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (ACAAI) Annual Scientific Meeting in Anaheim, California, held November 9 - 13.

To contact the author of this article, email mdonlon@globalspec.com