Peanut allergy is a global problem affecting 1-2% of the population and puts sufferers at risk of fatal allergic reactions upon inadvertent exposure to peanuts.

Aravax is a clinical stage biotechnology company focused on revolutionising the treatment of food allergies with next-generation specific immunotherapies which are safe, effective and convenient. Aravax applies proprietary technology and know-how to design highly targeted pharmacotherapies which reset the immune system to tolerate a specific allergen without evoking allergic reactions during treatment. The lead product, PVX108, is being developed for the treatment of peanut allergy.

Instead of using whole peanut allergens to train the immune system, which is the case with most peanut allergy treatments in clinical development, Aravax has identified the key fragments of the allergen which are critical for immune recognition and memory. Aravax has engineered peptides representing these fragments as the drug candidate PVX108, which mimics presentation of the allergen to specific T cells in a non-inflammatory context to induce tolerance. An intradermal injection of these peptides in the absence of whole protein allergens is designed to reprogram allergy-causing immune cells to become tolerant to the allergen. Precisely targeting the underlying cause of disease, it provides potential for sustained treatment effect. The peptides are designed to be incapable of activating mast cells and basophils, the cells that mediate severe reactions (including anaphylaxis), thus substantially reducing the risk of these reactions during treatment.

Phase I longitudinal immunology data gathered one-year post treatment shows evidence PVX108 may have positive long-term effects. Data suggested that peanut-allergic subjects who had received active PVX108 therapy had developed clinically relevant changes in their immune response to peanut protein. These included changes in peanut-specific cellular responses, peanut-specific antibodies (immunoglobulins), and also downstream tissue reactivity to peanut evaluated by skin-prick testing. Aravax previously reported Phase 1 trial results demonstrating that PVX108 has an excellent safety profile in peanut-allergic subjects with prior anaphylaxis and current asthma.

Aravax is headquartered in Melbourne, Australia.

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