Hørsholm, Denmark, (PRWEB) April 30, 2007
ALK-Abelló (http://www.alk-abello.com) has today welcomed the information campaign from the Global Allergy and Asthma European Network, GA2LEN, entitled 'Does Rhinitis lead to Asthma?' launched last week at the network's Annual Conference in London, UK.
The campaign is based on a peer-reviewed scientific publication of the GA2LEN review committee and follows the recommendations of the International guidelines on the management of Allergic Rhinitis and Its Impact on Asthma (ARIA).
ALK-Abelló supports the campaign objective that healthcare professionals and patients should be aware of the link between rhinitis (more commonly known as hay fever) and asthma and the allergic march.
It is well known that a person suffering from one allergy has an increased risk of developing more allergies and asthma - an occurrence dubbed the "allergic march". The allergic march describes the progression in clinical manifestations of an allergy, in this case the progression from rhinoconjunctivitis into asthma.
As such, a proportion of adults and children with one type of allergy, such as grass pollen (the most common) will then progress to more allergies and/or asthma later in life. Thus, the development of allergic diseases can be a life-long-struggle.
International Guidelines recommend treating allergies and keeping a watchful eye out for other symptoms related to lower airway disease. While several treatment modalities exist, symptomatic medications (e.g., antihistamines and local steroids) aim only at controlling the symptoms of allergic disease temporarily but do not treat the actual cause of the disease.
Only immunotherapy targets the underlying allergic disease, having the potential to produce long-term remission.
Several controlled clinical studies have also demonstrated the added benefits of immunotherapy in treating asthma symptoms in patients suffering from allergic asthma, and in preventing the development of new allergies and asthma.
In particular, a recent study demonstrated that sublingual (under the tongue) immunotherapy over three years not only improved seasonal rhinitis symptoms but also reduced the development of seasonal asthma in children with hay fever.
Recently ALK-Abelló launched GRAZAX®, the first allergy tablet that treats the underlying cause of grass pollen allergy and not just the symptoms. It works like a vaccine by inducing a protective immune response, which reduces and potentially halts the allergic reaction to grass pollen.
While long-term studies are still being conducted on GRAZAX®, recently at the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology (AAAAI 2007) congress, ALK-Abelló presented top-line results from the second treatment year in a long-term study with GRAZAX®. In this study GRAZAX® shows highly significant efficacy and progressive immunological changes over two years of continuous treatment. These results support expectations of a progressive effect with long-term treatment with GRAZAX® and a potential to halt the allergic march.
Grass pollen allergy is a health problem representing a significant social burden. At least 45 million people in Europe suffer from grass pollen allergy in the form of allergic rhinitis (hay fever) or allergic asthma - or both.
The vast majority of patients are only offered symptom-relieving medications that reduce symptoms temporarily but do not treat the allergy itself. In addition, 60-68% of patients using symptom-relieving medications perceive them to be in the range of 'not at all effective' to 'moderately effective' on individual symptoms, according to a survey conducted by the European Federation of Allergy and Airway Diseases Patients Associations (EFA).
GRAZAX® is a fast-dissolving, once-daily tablet-based allergy vaccine for patient home administration
The efficacy and safety of GRAZAX® have been documented in the largest clinical study programme ever conducted within allergy vaccination. The studies show, amongst other things, that the efficacy of GRAZAX® starts from the very first day of the first grass pollen season under treatment, and that 82% of the patients treated with GRAZAX® feel 'better' or 'much better' in the first treatment season compared with previous seasons. Further information is available at http://www.GRAZAX.com.
ALK-Abelló is devoted to improving the lives of people with allergies by developing pharmaceutical products that target the cause of their allergic disease. ALK-Abelló is the world leader in the development of immunotherapy treatments - a unique treatment that induces a protective immune response with sustained symptom prevention. Allergy immunotherapy is traditionally conducted as subcutaneous injections or sublingual droplets. ALK-Abelló aims to extend the use of immunotherapy by introducing convenient tablets for home treatment, thereby offering many more patients a causal allergy treatment. ALK-Abelló has more than 1,300 employees with subsidiaries, production facilities and distributors throughout the world. The company is headquartered in Hørsholm, Denmark and listed on the Copenhagen Stock Exchange. Further information is available at http://www.alk-abello.com.
For further information, please contact:
Sharmi Albrechtsen, International Brand Communication Manager, ALK-Abelló Phone +45 45747555
Jacob Frische, Director, ALK-Abelló Group Communications Phone +45 45747551 or +45 22247551
GRAZAX® is a trademark owned by ALK-Abelló A/S.