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 the human immune system keeps tuberculosis at bay

date Mar 26, 2015

A new tissue culture model using human white blood cells shows how people with a latent - or symptom-free - tuberculosis infection are protected from active disease by a critical early step in their immune ...

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.