Canada approves Merck grass allergy immunotherapy

by The Associated Press

Merck & Co. says it's won its first approval for its new immunotherapy tablet for grass allergies, from regulators in Canada.

The drug, called Grastek, gradually reduced to grass pollen, by desensitizing the immune system to the substance triggering the allergic reaction. Most treatments just temporarily relieve sneezing, itching and other symptoms.

The world's third-biggest drugmaker, based in Whitehouse Station, N.J., has partnered with ALK-Abello to market it in North America. ALK-Abello sells it in Europe as Grazas.

In the U.S., the Food and Drug Administration is weighing approval of both Grastek and an immunotherapy tablet for ragweed allergies. The tablets dissolve under the tongue and are taken daily for a year or so.

They could become an alternative to months of uncomfortable allergy shots.

Related Stories

Merck says FDA reviewing its ragweed allergy therapy

date May 08, 2013

Drugmaker Merck & Co. says the Food and Drug Administration is reviewing its second application to sell a new type of allergy treatment meant to gradually reduce allergic reactions over time, rather than just relieving sneezing, ...

Merck: FDA reviewing tablet to eliminate allergy

date Mar 27, 2013

Drugmaker Merck & Co. says federal regulators are reviewing its application to sell a new type of treatment for grass pollen allergy that gradually reduces allergy symptoms over time, rather than just temporarily relieving ...

Recommended for you

How to avoid July Fourth allergy flare-ups

date Jul 03, 2015

Fireworks, picnics and parades are favorite Fourth of July traditions for many people, but for those with allergies or asthma these activities could be uncomfortable or even dangerous.

Researchers discover the cause of coeliac disease

date Jun 30, 2015

Professor Ludvig M. Sollid and his colleagues at the University of Oslo have found the cause of coeliac disease. To do so required really going into depth, right down to molecular level. 

Mechanism of T cell self / non-self “education”

date Jun 30, 2015

Researchers at the University of Tokyo have demonstrated that a protease only found in the thymus produces special peptides that promote positive selection of T cells that can detect non-self antigens, a ...

User comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.