FOR the one in 10 with cat allergies, spending time at other people’s houses can be a sniffle-filled nightmare.
But for those who suffer with itchy eyes and a runny nose whenever they’re around a moggie then things could be looking up.
Scientists say they developed a vaccine that could “cure” cat allergies – and the injection is for the animal, not humans.
Cat allergies are usually caused by the protein Fel d 1, which is found in cat’s skin, saliva and urine.
When a cat licks itself clean, the saliva dries on its fur and soon becomes airborne – this can trigger an allergic reaction in 10 per cent of people.
A team of Swiss scientists have come up with a vaccine known as HypoPet AG, which works by “immunising cats against their own major allergen, Fel d 1″.
In a study, to be published in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, they found the jab significantly reduced the amount of harmful protein produced.
The team analysed data from four separate studies involving a total of 54 kitties and said all went on to produce antibodies needed to destroy the protein.
Allergic cat owners would reduce their risk of developing chronic diseases, such as asthma
University of Zurich researchers
Researchers say they are “pressing ahead with registration studies and discussions with European and US regulators” to bring the drug to market, which would certainly change lives.
They said: “Both humans and animals could profit from this treatment.
“Allergic cat owners would reduce their risk of developing chronic diseases, such as asthma.
“Their cats could stay in the households and not need to be relinquished to animal shelters.”
The team hope that the vaccine could be available within the next three months.
Dr Gary Jennings, CEO of HypoPet AG, said in a statement: “We are very pleased to publish this data which shows our HypoCat vaccine is able to produce high levels of antibodies in cats and that these antibodies can bind and neutralise the Fel d 1 allergen produced by the animals.
“This work was a key step in the milestone-driven [the] development of HypoCat, the lead project in our product pipeline.
“We are pressing ahead with registration studies and discussions with European and US regulators with the hope of bringing this much-needed product to the market.”
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