Cat allergies could soon be a thing of the past thanks to medical breatkthrough

Author: Cindy Pom, CBS News
(Credit: CBS News)

Cat allergies could soon be a thing of the past. Researchers say a medical breakthrough that involves a vaccine given to cats could actually keep allergic people from sneezing.

Christiane Panis usually wears a mask when she combs her cat’s fur because she’s that allergic. Her cat has kept her company in her London home for 10 years. “She means everything to me. I love her dearly and I would be devastated if I have to give her away,” said Panis. Her doctors have suggested she give up the cat because of her severe reactions.

But now, Swiss researchers say they’ve developed a vaccine given to cats that could stop allergies in people. Martin Bachmann, Chief Scientific Officer and Co-Founder of HypoPet, said: “Well we are actually all very confident that it does what it’s supposed to do.”

The Zurich-based company HypoPet has been working on the HypoCat vaccine since 2013. It works by neutralizing the allergens inside the cat. The company says the vaccine has worked on all 54 cats it tested. “So, so far we have not seen any signs of abnormalities in the cat. And we also have done specific studies to look at safety in young cats,” said Bachmann.

Panis would like to get her cat vaccinated, but she may have to wait a while. The company still needs to get American and European regulators on board and hopes to bring the product to market by 2022. If it does come to market, it will treat individual cats, but will not prevent allergy sufferers from having allergic reactions to all cats.

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