An estimated 30-40% of people in the world suffer from allergic disorders.1 Following the increasing incidence of allergic asthma over the past 50 years, food allergies have emerged as a second wave of the allergy epidemic in the last two decades.2 Between 1995 and 2006, 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.3 A high proportion of the increase is in children.1
Allergic children are at higher risk to develop other allergies later in life. The atopic march refers to this natural progression of allergies, commonly starting with eczema and food allergy during infancy, followed by allergic rhinitis and allergic asthma in later life. In Australia over 50% of infants with eczema develop food allergies at 12 months of age.4 ImmBALANCE® aims to rebalance the allergic immune system of infants to prevent allergies occurring later in life.
Gut microflora are known to shape the human immune system. The loss of some microbes, such as the bacterium H. pylori, over the last century has attributed to the increasing prevalence of allergy. Ondek® is developing ImmBALANCE® to prevent the progression of allergic disorders by reintroducing the benefits of H. pylori. By taking this approach, ImmBALANCE® offers a new therapy to prevent allergy, the most common chronic disease among young children in Australia, and addresses an unmet need for safe and effective allergy treatment and prevention.
ImmBALANCE® is being developed to treat paediatric allergy. Our initial clinical development programme will be focused on the treatment of atopic dermatitis and food allergy in infants. Later clinical trials will explore the use of ImmBALANCE® to prevent eczema, food allergy and other allergies or allergic diseases.
1 Pawankar R, Canonica GW, ST Holgate ST, Lockey RF, Blaiss M. The WAO White Book on Allergy (Update. 2013) Mullins RJ. Paediatric food allergy trends in a community-based specialist allergy practice, 1995-2006. Med J Aust. 2007;186(12):618-21.
2 Prescott S, Allen KJ. Food allergy: riding the second wave of the allergy epidemic. Pediatr Allergy Immunol. 2011;22(2):155-60.
3 Mullins RJ. Paediatric food allergy trends in a community-based specialist allergy practice, 1995-2006. Med J Aust. 2007;186(12):618-21.
4 Martin PE, Eckert JK, Koplin JJ, Lowe AJ, Gurrin LC, Dharmage SC, et al. Which infants with eczema are at risk of food allergy? Results from a population-based cohort. Clin Exp Allergy. 2015;45(1):255-64.