LONDON — Peptide Therapeutics Group plc agreed to a collaboration with Pfizer Inc. for development of Peptide's broad-spectrum allergy vaccine for the veterinary market.

No financial details were disclosed, but Peptide, of Cambridge, U.K., said Pfizer would have an exclusive option to a worldwide license. The two will work together to optimize and clinically evaluate the vaccine, initially for the prevention of dermatitis in dogs caused by allergy to flea bites. Pfizer will pay costs of the research and clinical development for evaluating the vaccine.

According to Peptide, allergy to flea bites causes over 30 percent of all cases of skin disease in domestic animals in the U.S. and U.K. The vaccine has the potential to protect against a wide range of allergies, irrespective of the allergen. Additional indications for other allergies in companion animals will be investigated after the initial trials in dogs.

The vaccine was licensed to SmithKline Beecham plc, of London, for human applications in February 1997. It works by generating an antibody that locks onto immunoglobulin E, preventing the allergen from triggering the release of histamine, which causes the allergic symptoms. This means the vaccine could have wide applicability as it prevents the release of histamine, regardless of the type of allergen. — Nuala Moran