Phase 1 trial supports safety and mechanism of action of peptide immunotherapy for peanut allergy

Astrid L. Voskamp, Sugandhika Khosa, Tracy Phan, Hannah A. DeBerg, Judy Bingham, Mark Hew, William Smith, Jodie Abramovitch, Jennifer M. Rolland, Matthew Moyle, Kari C. Nadeau, Gideon Lack, Mark Larché, Erik Wambre, Robyn E. O'Hehir, Pascal Hickey, Sara R. Prickett

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Background: Food allergy is a leading cause of anaphylaxis worldwide. Allergen-specific immunotherapy is the only treatment shown to modify the natural history of allergic disease, but application to food allergy has been hindered by risk of severe allergic reactions and short-lived efficacy. Allergen-derived peptides could provide a solution. PVX108 comprises seven short peptides representing immunodominant T-cell epitopes of major peanut allergens for treatment of peanut allergy. Methods: Pre-clinical safety of PVX108 was assessed using ex vivo basophil activation tests (n = 185). Clinical safety and tolerability of single and repeat PVX108 doses were evaluated in a first-in-human, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial in peanut-allergic adults (46 active, 21 placebo). The repeat-dose cohort received six doses over 16 weeks with safety monitored to 21 weeks. Exploratory immunological analyses were performed at pre-dose, Week 21 and Month 18 after treatment. Results: PVX108 induced negligible activation of peanut-sensitised basophils. PVX108 was safe and well tolerated in peanut-allergic adults. There were no treatment-related hypersensitivity events or AEs of clinical concern. The only events occurring more frequently in active than placebo were mild injection site reactions. Exploratory immunological analyses revealed a decrease in the ratio of ST2+ Th2A:CCR6+ Th17-like cells within the peanut-reactive Th pool which strengthened following treatment. Conclusion: This study supports the concept that PVX108 could provide a safe alternative to whole peanut immunotherapies and provides evidence of durable peanut-specific T-cell modulation. Translation of these findings to clinical efficacy in ongoing Phase 2 trials would provide important proof-of-concept for using peptides to treat food allergy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)485-498
Number of pages14
JournalAllergy: European Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2024
Externally publishedYes


  • T cell
  • food allergy
  • peptide immunotherapy
  • phase 1 clinical trial


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