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Advax potentially effective for honeybee venom immunotherapy

18 Aug 2019
It is believed that bees unintentionally transfer the toxin from the flowers to their nectar. (Photo credit: Today Online)

Advax, a new noninflammatory polysaccharide adjuvant, effectively enhances the immunogenicity of honeybee venom immunotherapy (HBVIT), a recent study has shown.

Researchers randomly assigned 26 adults to receive Advax (n=16; mean age, 40 years; 11 males) or standard (n=10; mean age, 46 years; 9 males) HBVIT. Primary endpoints included the number of participants achieving maintenance, hypersensitivity reactions and changes in venom skin test responses. All participants had had a history of rapid-onset systemic allergic reaction to honeybee stings.

Excluding participant withdrawals due to changes in work commitments or repeated immediate systemic reactions, all remaining patients in the Advax and standard HBVIT groups achieved monthly maintenance.

In terms of hypersensitivity reactions, 37.5 percent (n=6) of participants in the Advax group experienced 12 grade 1 reactions, while one participant had a grade 2 reaction; there were no grade 3 reactions in this group. In the standard HBVIT group, 10 grade 1 reactions were reported in three participants. There were two cases each of grade 2 and 3 reactions.

In addition, venom skin test sensitivity dropped over the course of the study in both the Advax and standard HBVIT groups. In particular, there was an increase in the concentration of bee venom required to elicit a positive response after 14 weeks and 12 and 30 months of maintenance therapy. Scores remained comparable between groups at any time point.

“Importantly, for the first time in human subjects, this study confirmed the safety and tolerability of VIT combined with Advax adjuvant,” said researchers, emphasizing the potential utility of Advax as a promising candidate for VIT following appropriate studies and trials.

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