Copenhagen, June 12, 2016 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- ALK (ALKB:DC / OMX: ALK B / AKABY / AKBLF): Leading global allergy experts have highlighted the worldwide problem of house dust mite (HDM) respiratory allergy at the 2016 Annual Congress of the European Academy of Allergy and Clinical Immunology (EAACI) in Vienna today. At the congress, experts from three continents explained the impact of HDM respiratory allergy and presented clinical data with the SQ(r) HDM sublingual allergy immunotherapy (SLIT) tablet recently launched in Europe and Japan, showing consistent benefits in all three populations.
A global problem
Together, the presenters - Dr. Glenis Scadding, from the Royal National Throat, Nose and Ear Hospital, UK; Dr. Hendrik Nolte, Executive Director of Respiratory & Immunology at Merck Sharp and Dome, USA; Prof. Kimihiro Okubo from the Department of Otolaryngology at Nippon Medical School, Japan; Dr. Victoria Cardona, Allergy Section at Institut Catala de la Salut, Spain; and Prof. J. Christian Virchow, Department of Pulmonary Medicine at the University of Rostock, Germany - offered a truly global view of the impact of HDM allergy, and looked at the potential benefits of treating patients with the SQ(r) HDM SLIT-tablet, marketed as ACARIZAX(r) in Europe and MITICURE(tm) in Japan.
House dust mites are a global phenomenon and HDM allergy is typified by two often interrelated conditions, allergic rhinitis and allergic asthma, with studies showing that nearly half of HDM allergic patients experience both conditions simultaneously.
Glenis Scadding said: "Allergic rhinitis is an important risk for developing asthma and HDM sensitisation increases this risk even further.Respiratory problems triggered by HDM allergy can be seen all over the world and HDM allergy is a truly global challenge both for the patient and for the society. Therefore an effective and well-documented treatment is very important."
Symptoms associated with the condition can have a significant impact on patients' daily lives. Tiredness due to poor sleep quality are widespread consequences of allergic rhinitis and frequently affect patients' learning and cognitive functions, with productivity at work or school often impaired. In addition, given the overlap between allergic rhinitis and allergic asthma, asthma exacerbations resulting from exposure to HDM may also pose a threat to these patients.
A global solution
The SQ(r) HDM SLIT-tablet data presented showed that HDM-allergic patients reported reduced allergic rhinitis symptoms, with data from North America and Japan confirming that the benefits were also seen in adolescents. Meanwhile, allergic asthma patients studied in Europe saw a 34% reduction in their risk of a moderate or severe asthma exacerbation during inhaled corticosteroids (ICS) reduction.
Henrik Jacobi, Executive Vice President of Research and Development at ALK, the world's leading global allergy immunotherapy company, commented: "For patients suffering from moderate to severe allergic rhinitis ACARIZAX(r) offers a reduced burden of medication and symptom load all year round. In addition, for patients also having allergic asthma, it represents the only HDM SLIT-tablet approved for use in their condition in Europe." Henrik Jacobi continued: "This is the first time that SQ(r) HDM SLIT-tablet data from three different continents has been shared in this way and the story it tells is compelling. Latest data shows that ACARIZAX(r) offers a global solution to a global healthcare problem."
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ALK is a research-driven global pharmaceutical company focusing on allergy prevention, diagnosis and treatment. ALK is a world leader in allergy immunotherapy - a treatment of the underlying cause of allergy. The company has approximately 1,900 employees with subsidiaries, production facilities and distributors worldwide. ALK has entered into partnership agreements with MSD (known as Merck (NYSE: MRK) in the USA and Canada), Torii, Abbott and Seqirus to commercialise sublingual allergy immunotherapy tablets (SLIT-tablets) in North America, Japan, Russia and South-East Asia, and Australia and New Zealand, respectively. The company is headquartered in Hoersholm, Denmark, and listed on NASDAQ Copenhagen. Find more information at www.alk.net .
About house dust mite allergy
House dust mites (HDM) are the most common cause of allergy in the world. HDM allergy is estimated to affect around 90 million people in Europe, North America and Japan, and more than 100 million in China. It is estimated that one in 10 adults with allergic rhinitis are poorly controlled with current standard therapies. The condition appears early in life, is present all year round and patients face an elevated risk of developing asthma and other allergies.
About the global HDM SLIT-tablet development programme
The HDM SLIT-tablet is under development for a number of markets around the world in collaboration with ALK's partners - by MSD (known as Merck in the USA and Canada) for North America, Abbott for Russia and South-East Asia, Seqirus for Australia and New Zealand, and Torii for Japan. Together, these development activities have involved more than 6,000 patients worldwide and the clinical programme makes the product the best documented in the history of HDM allergy immunotherapy. It has already been launched in Europe under the brand name ACARIZAX(r) and in Japan by Torii under the brand name MITICURETM.
About the European Academy of Allergy and Clinical Immunology (EAACI) Congress
The EEACI Annual Congress is the foremost event of its kind in Europe, drawing allergy experts, policy makers and science media from all over the world. Its scientific programme and industry-sponsored sessions provide an important update on the latest research, trends and product launches in allergy treatment. Find more information at www.eaaci2016.com