UCLA study: using nanoparticle technology shows promising results for treating severe allergies

UCLA scientists may have developed a long-term treatment for severe food allergies.
The technology uses a nanoparticle — a particle to deliver proteins to specific cells in the liver. Those proteins may trigger an allergic response in other organs in the body, but in the liver, they cause the targeted cells to activate a tolerant immune response that switches the allergic response off.
“The researchers’ therapy takes advantage of the liver’s ability to stop the immune system from entering an allergic reaction”, said Tian Xia, an associate professor of medicine and co-author of the study. “The liver frequently interacts with foreign proteins that people eat, so it has a natural immune tolerance,” he added.

The treatment uses injections into the bloodstream to deliver allergen particles to the liver so that it can perform the process it undergoes commonly when encountering foreign proteins.
Further experimentation must be done to determine how long the therapy’s effect could last it is hoped that the therapy could provide resistance against allergies for a lifetime. If not, the treatment could be administered on an interval basis, around weeks or months apart.
Currently, the treatment is in the preclinical phase. The team is testing its therapy on animals and will submit documentation to the Food and Drug Administration to move on to human clinical trials.

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