Ondek® is addressing an unmet need for safe and effective products to address allergic disorders; the most common chronic disease among young children in Australia and other industrialised nations. Following the increasing incidence of allergic asthma over the past 5 decades, food allergies have emerged in the last 10 years as a second wave of the allergy epidemic. Environmentally induced alterations in naturally occurring gut microbes have been implicated in the increasing prevalence of food allergy.
There is strong epidemiological and genetic evidence that eczema may represent the initial phase of the allergic march. The allergic march refers to the progression of eczema to more severe allergic diseases such as food allergies, allergic rhinitis and allergic asthma, in later life. The global incidence of allergic rhinitis is 30-60 million, food allergies 220-250 million, and childhood eczema 8-9 million.
Over the last 10 years, Australia has seen a 10-fold increase in referrals for food allergies, and a 5-fold increase in hospital referrals for food-related severe allergy or anaphylaxis. Infants with eczema are 60-70% more likely to develop food allergies than infants without allergy. Thus, there is a mounting need for effective treatments of eczema in infants to prevent the allergic march.
The end user target market for Ondek’s products will be infants and young children presenting with moderate to severe eczema. Other products will be developed to treat children, adolescents and adults with allergies, including food allergies, allergic asthma and rhinitis.