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Published on February 07, 2013

Dean Researchers Vetting Potential New Allergy Treatment

Dean Physician Conducting Clinical Trial of Investigational Drug to Treat Cat Allergies

Cat allergies are one of the most common forms of allergies in the United States and Europe, twice as common as dog allergies. Researchers with Dean Foundation recently began conducting a clinical research trial, testing an investigational drug that could potentially help reduce the symptoms of cat allergies. 

Dr. Reid Olson, a Dean Clinic allergist/immunologist is among 94 physicians around the globe testing the safety of the vaccine, along with its effectiveness in reducing the symptoms associated with cat allergies such as a stuffy nose and sneezing.

Study Coordinator Karen Reilly is assisting Dr. Olson with the research.

“I find this study to be fascinating on a number of levels," says Reilly. "For one thing, I can’t imagine what it would be like to be in a living situation where something as common as an allergy forced me to choose between two loved ones.”

A common misconception is that an allergic reaction to felines is triggered by the cat’s fur or hair. It is actually caused by an allergy to proteins in the cat’s saliva, urine and dander. People with cat allergies have immune systems that mistake the harmless proteins for dangerous invaders and their bodies attack them as if it were a bacteria or virus, triggering the symptoms.

This drug is currently being tested on adolescents, teens and adults in the Madison area who live with a cat and have suffered symptoms of an allergic reaction for at least the past two years.  

Dean Foundation is the charitable affiliate of Dean Clinic, a multi-specialty health care delivery system based in Madison, serving south-central Wisconsin. The Dean organization, including St. Mary’s Dean Venture physicians, includes approximately 500 physicians providing primary, specialty and tertiary care at almost 60 locations throughout southern Wisconsin.

For More Information

For more information or to arrange an interview with one of our Dean providers or staff, contact Dean Clinic Communications Manager Kim Sveum at or (608) 294-6080.


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