A new toothpaste called INT301 is showing promise as a potential treatment for adults with peanut allergies. In an early trial, the toothpaste met its safety goals and demonstrated no moderate or severe side effects. The trial involved 32 adults aged 18-55 who were randomly placed into groups receiving either increasing amounts of peanut protein in the toothpaste or a placebo toothpaste with no peanut proteins. The toothpaste was dispensed in controlled amounts from a metered dispenser. Neither the participants nor the person administering the toothpaste knew which type they were receiving to eliminate bias.
Lead author of the study, Dr. William Berger, an allergist and consultant for the biotechnology company Intrommune, which developed the toothpaste, stated that INT301 showed safety across all treatment groups. The toothpaste is a form of oral immunotherapy that exposes the body to tiny but increasing amounts of an allergen over time to build tolerance. Unlike other oral immunotherapies, INT301 targets cells throughout the mouth, enhancing allergy desensitization.
The trial primarily focused on safety but also found early signs of effectiveness through blood tests. Further trials will explore the toothpaste's effectiveness more thoroughly. Dr. Kristin Sokol, an allergist/immunologist, expressed enthusiasm for the potential of INT301, noting that current food allergy treatments involve complete avoidance of the allergen and carrying epinephrine for life. Oral immunotherapy is time-consuming and logistically challenging, so a toothpaste option that fits into daily routines is appealing to families.
Sokol emphasized the importance of safety data, highlighting the absence of anaphylaxis incidents in the trial. While more studies are needed, she considers the toothpaste's safety profile encouraging. As of now, INT301 offers a more convenient alternative for managing peanut allergies, but further research will be required to fully establish its efficacy.