WASHINGTON — The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved Odactra, the first allergen extract to be administered under the tongue (sublingually) to treat house dust mite (HDM)-induced nasal inflammation (allergic rhinitis), with or without eye inflammation (conjunctivitis), in people 18 through 65 years of age.
“House dust mite allergic disease can negatively impact a person’s quality of life,” said Peter Marks, M.D., Ph.D., director of the FDA’s Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research. “The approval of Odactra provides patients an alternative treatment to allergy shots to help address their symptoms.”
House dust mite allergies are a reaction to tiny bugs that are commonly found in house dust. Dust mites, close relatives of ticks and spiders, are too small to be seen without a microscope. They are found in bedding, upholstered furniture and carpeting. Individuals with house dust mite allergies may experience a cough, runny nose, nasal itching, nasal congestion, sneezing, and itchy and watery eyes.
Odactra exposes patients to house dust mite allergens, gradually training the immune system in order to reduce the frequency and severity of nasal and eye allergy symptoms. It is a once-daily tablet, taken year round, that rapidly dissolves after it is placed under the tongue. The first dose is taken under the supervision of a health care professional with experience in the diagnosis and treatment of allergic diseases.
Odactra is manufactured for Merck, Sharp & Dohme, a subsidiary of Merck, by Catalent Pharma Solutions.