The story behind PAX® - a conversation with Prof. Thierry Olivry

Jun 27 2024

The story behind PAX® - a conversation with Prof. Thierry Olivry

Every fifth dog suffers from allergies and only one in twenty gets a proper diagnosis or treatment. Vimian’s Specialty Pharma segment, Nextmune, is at the forefront of global allergy detection and immunotherapy (desensitisation) for pets. Prof. Thierry Olivry, Head of R&D, himself allergic, started thinking about whether the progress made in detecting sensitizations in humans could be translated to pets. Fast-forward a few years, and we have PAX®, a macroarray, cartridge-based test for dogs, cats, and horses. We sat down to talk to Prof. Olivry about the story behind this revolutionary solution.

Can you tell us a little bit about what the difference is between PAX® and traditional sensitization detection tests for pets?

Up until recently, allergy testing in veterinary medicine was based on skin or serum testing of the animal with allergen extracts from various substances, such as pollens or mites. The issue with this method is that results can vary considerably depending on the extract, and false-negative results can occur.

In allergy tests for humans, the methods have become more sophisticated over the years, and rather than using a full extract, the most allergenic proteins within previous extracts are used. I started to think that the same methodology might be applicable to companion animals and got in touch with the leading provider of these tests for humans, Macroarray Diagnostics (MADx), a company headquartered in Vienna, Austria. Together, we worked on developing a version of the test specifically designed for dogs, later adding cats and, most recently, horses.

What are the advantages of this way of working?

Some of the advantages of using PAX® rather than traditional methods include improved reproducibility, improved accuracy, increased results (up to 300 results) , and  improved treatment recommendations. Since its launch in 2023, PAX® has grown on average 55 per cent per month. This will help many pets!.

Where is PAX® currently available?

PAX® is available for all vets that would like to submit a sample to one of the Nextmune labs or partner labs around the world.   

And how do you foresee the future potential for this method?

Nextmune is the only veterinary company currently offering a molecular allergology-based test. We are convinced that this product will allow veterinarians to better determine what is sensitising the allergic pets, which will benefit the animals and pet owners alike.