New nut allergy drugs and exposure therapies have made allergy diagnosis and treatment easier. Now, there’s even a toothpaste entering phase 1 trials that easily delivers immunotherapy for peanut allergies.
Created by New York-based startup Intrommune Therapeutics, the therapeutic toothpaste delivers tiny doses of peanut protein to patients during daily toothbrushing. The idea is that through small daily exposures, the body becomes more resilient to peanuts and the severity of the allergy is reduced so that if someone is ever accidentally exposed, their reaction is less severe and they have more time to access an EpiPen or emergency services.
Other immunotherapy methods use shots or tablets to achieve the same microdosing effect, but the developers hope that incorporating the technique into toothpaste will make the therapy more widely available. The use of toothpaste also successfully gets the substance to the most effective spots in the mouth and allows the therapy to easily become part of users’ routines.
The idea of toothpaste immunotherapy is highly innovative, but there are still potential risks with the technology. The subjective dosage of toothpaste and the risk of oral inflammation are two primary concerns being addressed in phase 1 trials. Intrommune Therapeutics is currently recruiting 32 patients with peanut allergies for initial trials. If all goes well, they hope to bring their peanut toothpaste to market and create a whole line of pastes for different allergies.