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While he was open to any delivery method for his innovative new immunotherapy product, Reisacher found himself focusing on oral routes for desensitization. In Europe, allergy shots are already passe. Most doctors there have moved on to the newer (but not necessarily more comfortable) oral lingual method of immunotherapy. For a few minutes each week, patients hold a desensitizing serum below the tongue. When they’re done, they spit the liquid out, and repeat the process at their next appointment. While it doesn’t involve needles, oral lingual therapy comes with its own aches and pain: Swallowing any of the allergenic compounds—which happens very easily, especially with kids—can irritate cells in the esophagus, triggering acid reflux.
Despite its penchant for upsetting stomachs, Reisacher knew the oral lingual application had one major advantage: Allergens slosh around in close proximity to immune-regulating cells, which live in high concentrations in the mucous membrane of the mouth. “I was thinking about this when I was brushing my teeth at night, and I saw that foam building up on all of those important parts,” Reisacher says. And thus Allerdent, a pioneering oral mucosal immunotherapy, was born.
Doctors - Allerdent - Kit - Reisacher - Company
Doctors who prescribe Allerdent can buy a kit from Reisacher’s company, Allovate. It comes with a brick that, when combined with the liquid desensitizing serums in every allergist’s refrigerator, turns into a toothpaste. “I mixed up a whole bunch of different concoctions on my own,” Reisacher says of the early days testing Allerdent. The first prototypes weren’t paste at all. Some were totally liquid, others were like cement balls. Now, he says, “it’s the perfect consistency,” and, like regular toothpaste, full of fluoride.
The idea is that patients use two dollops of the toothpaste, which comes in a pre-metered pump, daily in lieu of a weekly allergy shot. The toothpaste typically includes four or...
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