Dynavax Technologies has announced data from a Phase I trial of its ragweed allergy immunotherapy, Tolamba, demonstrating that it was safe to test further in ragweed allergic children at a dose level equivalent to the regimen used in adults. Tolamba is currently being evaluated in two large-scale clinical trials. A two-year Phase II/III trial in adults is anticipated to yield data in the first quarter of 2006. The drug has potential as a new approach for treating allergic rhinitis in children as well as adults, and in preventing the development of allergic asthma in children.

In the U.S., approximately 40 million people suffer from allergic rhinitis. Ragweed is the single most common seasonal allergen, affecting up to 75 percent of those with allergic rhinitis. It is estimated that approximately 25 percent of those who suffer from allergic rhinitis progress to asthma, leading to increased morbidity and disease management costs. Approximately 20 million Americans suffer from asthma and approximately nine million of those sufferers are children.