A new hay fever vaccine that can reduce symptoms by more than a quarter could be available on prescription as early as next year following successful clinical trials.
Current therapeutic options for hay fever can require up to 90 injections over three to five years, but sufferers need only four injections of Pollinex Quattro for it to be effective, say researchers who conducted the largest ever controlled allergy vaccine study.
The injections are given over three weeks before the start of the grass pollen season and last for at least a year with very little side effects, they added.
Over 1,000 patients from the US, Canada and Europe were given either Pollinex Quatro – manufactured by Allergy Therapeutics - or placebo.
Study results showed the vaccine had significant clinical benefits over placebo, with 26.9% of those taking it reporting improvements in symptoms.
Lead researcher Tony Frew, professor of allergy and respiratory medicine at Brighton and Sussex Medical School, said: ‘Proof of efficacy and safety of Pollinex Quattro in this study is a breakthrough for allergy sufferers.
‘Importantly, because so few injections are required, compliance rates were excellent and this should be an area of focus for clinicians,’ he added.