HAL Allergy develops and markets innovative convenient-to-use products for the treatment of respiratory, venom and food allergies.
Allergic asthma and allergic rhinitis are common, chronic diseases of the respiratory tract. Both conditions often coexist. Worldwide, the prevalence of asthma is estimated at 10-18% and allergic rhinitis at 10-25% of the population. What is more, in the past 20 years, the incidence of the respiratory allergies has increased. Typical symptoms within the lower airways include shortness of breath, wheezing and cough and within the upper airways nasal itching and congestion accompanied by sneezing and red and teary eyes. Respiratory allergies affect the quality of daily life of many patients with impact on school attendance and productivity at work. The World Health Organization has estimated that 15 million disability adjusted life years (DALYs) are lost annually due to asthma, representing 1% of the global disease burden. Despite modern medicines, still many patients are not adequately controlled. In addition, allergic asthma and allergic rhinitis are chronic conditions that cannot be cured and most patients require lifelong controller medication and lifestyle adjustments. Hence, there is still an unmet need for novel targeted medicines that treat the underlying cause of the disease. Specific immunotherapy is one therapeutic approach that can be considered.
Most bee and wasp stings cause small local reactions. These normal sting reactions are characterized by pain, itching, redness, and swelling at the sting site that resolve within several hours. However, if you are allergic, a sting can cause large local reactions at the sting site but also life threatening systemic reactions. The prevalence of large local reactions ranges from 2.4-26.4% in the population. The prevalence of allergic systemic reactions is between 0.3-7.5% in Europe while in the USA, it is 0.5-3.3%. Based on the knowledge of the living conditions and habitat of bee and wasps recommendations can be followed which can greatly minimize the risk of a field re-sting. However, these greatly limit the patients outdoor activities and the anxiety of being re-stung remains. Treatment with venom immunotherapy, given by a course of injections, is able to reduce the risk of a serious allergic reactions to an insect sting. Guidelines advice to treat adult patients that respond to a sting with a systemic reaction with venom immunotherapy.
Food allergy is a worldwide health problem. The prevalence of food allergies in the developed world ranges from 2-10% and it is especially prevalent in children. Frequent food allergens are cow’s milk, egg, soybean, fish, shellfish, nuts and peanuts. Typical food allergy symptoms are itching in the mouth, abdominal pain and diarrhoea, but also skin complaints or respiratory problems can occur. Some food allergies disappear over time while (shell)fish and peanut allergy typically persists lifelong. These foodstuffs are also more likely to cause severe allergic reactions and even anaphylactic shock. Currently, the only treatment option is avoidance of the food(s) identified as allergenic. However, some foods can contain traces of other allergens and skin contact and inhalation can also trigger reactions. As a result, avoidance can be very difficult. Continuous monitoring of food intake, the fear of severe reactions, avoidance of social contacts and the carrying of emergency medication result in a decrease of the quality of life. Thus, the development of safe and effective medicines for the prophylactic treatment of food allergy is essential. Specific immunotherapy is one therapeutic approach that can be considered.