Intrommune: Focused on Food Allergy Immunotherapy
Intrommune Therapeutics, Inc. is a New York City-based clinical stage biotechnology company dedicated to simplifying allergy immunotherapy through the development of safe, effective, and convenient new options for the treatment of peanut and other food allergies.
More than 220 million people globally suffer from food allergies. In the U.S. alone, approximately 32 million people find themselves at the mercy of a food allergy. It may be difficult to conceptualize a number like 32 million, but the figures “1 in 10 adults” and “1 in 13 children” speak for themselves. Food allergies have an incredibly prevalent yet dangerously silent presence in our homes, schools, and lives.
With such high stakes and great prevalence, one would think effective and feasible treatments would be widespread. This is not the case. Respiratory allergens remain at the center of the current allergy treatment landscape, leaving individuals with food allergies little choice but avoidance. The peanut allergy treatment landscape has shifted toward immunotherapy, with a few products in various stages of testing and development, but only one drug has received approval thus far.
Intrommune Therapeutics aims to fill the current gaps with the development of an oral mucosal immunotherapy (OMIT) platform for food allergies. Intrommune’s lead OMIT product in development, titled INT301, is a toothpaste intended to decrease allergic immune response in patients through daily tooth brushing. INT301 harnesses OMIT to deliver allergenic proteins to areas of the oral cavity and naturally trigger an immune system response toward tolerance of the allergen. This specifically formulated toothpaste is designed to decrease the risk of severe and potentially life-threatening allergic reactions through desensitization because of daily use.
“The use of a patented toothpaste delivery platform is expected to improve allergy immunotherapy by increasing the precision of treatment delivery and promoting treatment adherence,” said Michael Nelson, CEO, Intrommune Therapeutics. “OMIT delivers immunotherapy to the oral mucosa, which has the highest likelihood of initiating allergy desensitization. Targeted delivery of medication is expected to decrease the rate of side effects linked to swallowing food allergy proteins, including eosinophilic esophagitis, gastrointestinal discomfort and potentially life-threatening anaphylaxis that requires the use of emergency epinephrine.”
The patient-friendly daily treatment eliminates fear and risk of accidental allergen exposure for peanut allergy patients and their families. Following the acceptance of its Investigational New Drug (IND) application by the FDA in early 2021, Intrommune has begun its phase 1 clinical trial for its toothpaste immunotherapy and continues working towards FDA approval. Intrommune Therapeutics plans to develop multi-allergen oral mucosal immunotherapies (OMIT) for other top food allergies faced today, such as soy, wheat, milk and eggs.
“We consider oral mucosal immunotherapy a super-strategy for the management of food allergies,” said William Reisacher, MD, Professor of Otolaryngology and the Director of Allergy Services within the Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, Weill Cornell Medicine/New York-Presbyterian Hospital. “A toothpaste-based modality delivers allergens to most of the oral cavity surface area without the risk of significant ingestion of peanut protein. This optimizes both safety and efficacy, expanding on the successful peanut desensitization proven to occur when liquid peanut protein is repeatedly placed under the tongue, and provides more options for younger children.”
Intrommune’s team of scientific and pharmaceutical development experts work with researchers at leading academic centers to advance new breakthroughs to meet the unmet need for effective and feasible food allergy treatments and put an end to the food allergy epidemic.
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