In what is thought to be the first use of mRNA for an allergic disease, scientists from the University of California, USA, have developed a novel medicine that could potentially treat peanut allergies.
Taking inspiration from COVID-19 mRNA vaccines as well as their own research on the disease, researchers packaged mRNA inside a liver-targeting lipid nanoparticle, which, once inside the liver, ‘instructed’ specific cells to tolerate peanut proteins.
Early tests have shown the novel medicine alleviated peanut allergy anaphylaxis in mice. Excitingly, immunological activity associated with allergic responses in the body, including Th2-mediated cytokine production, IgE synthesis, and mast cell release, were also suppressed by the medication.
The use of mRNA in peanut allergy treatment and COVID-19 vaccines represents a breakthrough in the field of medicine, as it allows researchers to develop therapies and vaccines that can be quickly and easily modified to target different diseases and conditions.
The researchers are now confident that their peanut allergy treatment will go to clinical trials within three years, and that it has the potential to be adapted for other allergies and autoimmune conditions.
For more information, see the media release on the University of California website.