Production of allergen-specific immunotherapeutic agents for the treatment of food allergy

Jeppe Madura Larsen, Claus Heiner Bang-Berthelsen, Katrine Qvortrup, Ana Isabel Sancho, Anders Højgaard Hansen, Kasper Ivert Hentzer Andersen, Sonnich Sunil Nørtoft Thacker, Thomas Eiwegger, Julia Upton, Katrine Lindholm Bøgh

Research output: Journal article (peer-reviewed)Review article

11 Citations (Scopus)


Allergen-specific immunotherapy (IT) is emerging as a viable avenue for the treatment of food allergies. Clinical trials currently investigate raw or slightly processed foods as therapeutic agents, as trials using food-grade agents can be performed without the strict regulations to which conventional drugs are subjected. However, this limits the ability of standardization and may affect clinical trial outcomes and reproducibility. Herein, we provide an overview of methods used in the production of immunotherapeutic agents for the treatment of food allergies, including processed foods, allergen extracts, recombinant allergens, and synthetic peptides, as well as the physical and chemical processes for the reduction of protein allergenicity. Commercial interests currently favor producing standardized drug-grade allergen extracts for therapeutic use, and clinical trials are ongoing. In the near future, recombinant production could replace purification strategies since it allows the manufacturing of pure, native allergens or sequence-modified allergens with reduced allergenicity. A recurring issue within this field is the inadequate reporting of production procedures, quality control, product physicochemical characteristics, allergenicity, and immunological properties. This information is of vital importance in assessing therapeutic standardization and clinical safety profile, which are central parameters for the development of future therapeutic agents.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)881-894
Number of pages14
JournalCritical Reviews in Biotechnology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 17 Aug 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • Allergens/immunology
  • Animals
  • Desensitization, Immunologic
  • Food Handling
  • Food Hypersensitivity/drug therapy
  • Humans
  • Peptides/immunology
  • Recombinant Proteins/immunology


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