New Solution to Cure Food Allergies
Intrommune Therapeutics is a biopharmaceutical company developing innovative treatments for food allergies.
To start, the company is focusing on peanut allergies. And in the future, it plans to create allergy treatments for soy, wheat, milk, and eggs.
Food allergies affect 15 million people in the U.S., and 17 million people in Europe.
These allergies result in 200,000 emergency room visits in the U.S. each year.
The economic cost for food allergies is about $25 billion annually. The global peanut allergy market alone is estimated at $8 billion.
Allergic reactions can vary from mild to severe. Symptoms can range from rashes and minor pain, to difficulty breathing, loss of consciousness, and dangerous drops in blood pressure.
Those with food allergies have to approach every meal with caution, which can create a significant emotional burden.
The first solution Intrommune Therapeutics is developing is a toothpaste designed for everyday use, aimed at sufferers of peanut allergies.
This solution is easy and safe. Essentially, it retrains the body’s immune system over time.
As Business Insider noted, Intrommune Therapeutics “wants to make treating peanut allergies as easy as brushing your teeth.”
The toothpaste platform is a form of what's called oral mucosal immunotherapy, or “OMIT.”
OMIT is based on a technique that allergists have used to treat respiratory allergies for more than 100 years called allergy immunotherapy.
Allergy immunotherapy is a long-term treatment for allergies. Patients receive tiny, carefully controlled amounts of the substance they’re allergic to, such as pollen or peanut proteins.
Over time, their immune system learns that the substance is safe and allergic reactions become milder.
OMIT uses the lining of the mouth to retrain a person’s immune system and reduce allergic reactions to food over time.
Intrommune’s toothpaste contains a dose of a peanut-derived protein, which is designed to be low enough to be safe, but still trigger the immune system’s desensitization process.
Daily use of this toothpaste gradually increases the threshold of allergens that would normally trigger food allergy symptoms.
The toothpaste also fights cavities and provides the benefits of standard toothpastes. If successful, Intrommune’s toothpaste would help save lives, improve the quality of life for allergy sufferers, and significantly reduce healthcare costs.
Intrommune Therapeutics plans to conduct clinical trials of its treatment in 2019, and aims to receive FDA approval in 2020.
The company is led by a strong team with significant experience in the academic and commercial aspects of drug development:
Co-founder and CEO Michael Nelson has an extensive background in law and finance…
And Co-founder and Chief Science Officer Erick Berglund is a former researcher for Sanofi-Aventis pharmaceutical company. In addition, he previously served as Medical Strategy Director for H4B, a global healthcare communications company.
Erick previously worked as a researcher at Sanofi-Aventis pharmaceutical company. While there, he became a USPTO registered patent agent.
He formerly worked in the business development department of Kyorin Pharmaceuticals and served as CEO of Vaxiva Biosciences, a Tokyo-based vaccine company.
Erick previously served as Medical Strategy Director for H4B Chelsea, a global healthcare communications company.
He received a Bachelor’s degree from the University of New Hampshire, a Master’s degree from Boston University, and a Ph.D. in biochemistry from Goethe University.
Michael previously served as an analyst with Barclays Capital and ING investment banks. While there, he managed portfolios of up to $2 billion in assets.
Prior to that, he served as an investment banker at CIBC World Markets and Westwood Capital.
Michael is a former lawyer with Willkie Farr & Gallagher law firm.
He earned a Bachelor’s degree from Cornell University and a J.D. from New York University School of Law.
Anthony specializes in bringing medical drug discoveries to commercialization.
Before starting Intrommune, he served in a product development and commercial leadership position with Bryn Mawr Rehab Hospital.
In 2013, he started Barclay Consulting, a management consulting company focused on life science- and healthcare-related investment funds.
Anthony earned a Bachelor’s degree from Cornell University, a Master’s from Drexel University and an MBA from Penn State University.