Háskóli Íslands

Treatment via the oral mucosa with barley expressing recombinant allergens

Non-injection routes of allergen specific immunotherapy are becoming more and more applicable such as through mucosal surfaces of the mouth. The sublingual route has been established and marketed for humans as a valid non-invasive alternative to the subcutaneous route (Moingeon & Mascarell, 2012). Three recombinant allergens have been expressed in barley in collaboration with ORF Genetics (Magnusdottir et al., 2013). Allergens have been expressed in barley and shown to be comparable with E. coli and insect cell produced allergens in immunoassays (Jonsdottir et al., 2018). A method to treat horses with recombinant barley flour via the oral mucosa was developed. Treated healthy horses developed an IgG response able to partly block IgE-binding to the allergen. (Jonsdottir et al., 2017). Our collaborators at Cornell University, Ithaca, New York own a group of Icelandic horses many of which are affected with IBH. Having all the horses located in the same environment as compared to horses from different owners spread over multiple locations provides a unique opportunity to perform an experimental barley treatment. Orf Genetics is presently expressing four additional allergens suitable for the affected horse in Ithaca. They will hopefully be orally treated with recombinant barley 2020.

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