Business

Merck: FDA reviewing its ragweed allergy therapy

WHITEHOUSE STATION, N.J. — Drug maker Merck & Co. said the Food and Drug Administration is reviewing its second application to sell a new type of allergy treatment meant to gradually reduce allergic­ reactions over time, rather than just relieving sneezing, itching, and other symptoms temporarily.

Merck’s latest application is for an allergy immunotherapy tablet for ragweed allergies that dissolves under the tongue.

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Patients in studies of the tablet took it daily for a year. It could become an alternative to months of uncomfortable allergy­ shots.

Both methods gradually desensitize the immune system to the substance triggering the allergic reaction.

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In March, the Whitehouse Station, N.J., company said the FDA was reviewing its application for an immunotherapy pill for grass pollen allergies.

Merck expects FDA rulings on both still-unnamed treatments in 2014’s first half.

Associated Press

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