WP1073 is addressing ragweed allergy which is very prominent in the US and its prevalence is increasing rapidly in Europe and some parts of Asia.
Ragweed is an annual flowering plant originated from North America which is highly invasive in warm climate regions. The ragweed plant produces a very large pollen load, and one plant can produce up to 1 billion pollen grains. Since the plant flowers late in the year it leads to a prolongation of the pollen season.
The sensitization rates against ragweed pollen in the USA range between 10 and 26% (Burbach GJ et al., 2009), and in Europe the mean sensitization prevalence is 14%, with wide variation from 54% in Hungary to 3.5% in Italy (Smith M et al., 2014). Ragweed is a very important cause for asthma; in one study 23.7% of sensitized ragweed pollen-allergic patients showed asthma symptom (Arbes SJ et al., 2005).
WP1073 is composed of two PCFiT based fusion proteins which contain immunogenic epitopes of two relevant isoforms of the dominant ragweed allergen Amb a 1.