Treatment with grass allergen peptides improves symptoms of grass pollen–induced allergic rhinoconjunctivitis

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Abstract

Background

Synthetic peptide immunoregulatory epitopes are a new class of immunotherapy to treat allergic rhinoconjunctivitis (ARC). Grass allergen peptides, comprising 7 synthetic T-cell epitopes derived from Cyn d 1, Lol p 5, Dac g 5, Hol l 5, and Phl p 5, is investigated for treatment of grass pollen–induced ARC.

Objective

We sought to evaluate the efficacy, safety, and tolerability of intradermally administered grass allergen peptides.

Methods

A multicenter, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study evaluated 3 regimens of grass allergen peptides versus placebo in patients with grass pollen–induced allergy (18-65 years). After a 4-day baseline challenge to rye grass in the environmental exposure unit (EEU), subjects were randomized to receive grass allergen peptides at 6 nmol at 2-week intervals for a total of 8 doses (8x6Q2W), grass allergen peptides at 12 nmol at 4-week intervals for a total of 4 doses (4x12Q4W), or grass allergen peptides at 12 nmol at 2-week intervals for a total of 8 doses (8x12Q2W) or placebo and treated before the grass pollen season. The primary efficacy end point was change from baseline in total rhinoconjunctivitis symptom score across days 2 to 4 of a 4-day posttreatment challenge (PTC) in the EEU after the grass pollen season. Secondary efficacy end points and safety were also assessed.

Results

Two hundred eighty-two subjects were randomized. Significantly greater improvement (reduction of total rhinoconjunctivitis symptom score from baseline to PTC) occurred across days 2 to 4 with grass allergen peptide 8x6Q2W versus placebo (−5.4 vs −3.8, respectively; P = .0346). Greater improvement at PTC also occurred for grass allergen peptide 8x6Q2W versus placebo (P = .0403) in patients with more symptomatic ARC. No safety signals were detected.

Conclusion

Grass allergen peptide 8x6Q2W significantly improved ARC symptoms after rye grass allergen challenge in an EEU with an acceptable safety profile.

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