The award winner was honored for establishing new forms of diagnostics and therapy for allergic diseases. More than 20 years ago, Kraft was already focusing on identifying and producing allergens by means of genetic engineering. Kraft and his colleagues have received every conceivable national and international scientific award in the field of allergy research.
He has also succeeded in establishing an internationally highly recognized school in the field of allergy research. The importance of Kraft’s research is demonstrated by the fact alone that around a quarter of the population in industrialized countries suffers from allergies. The diseases range from rhinitis, conjunctivitis, bronchitis, asthma, neurodermatitis and hives to life-threatening shock. For decades, extracts from pollen, mites, molds, animal hair, and animal dander have been used for both diagnosis and treatment of the corresponding allergies.
Since these natural extracts contain a broad spectrum of molecules and compounds, including of course those to which the patient is not allergic, they are difficult or impossible to standardize with respect to the allergens that cause allergies, which are mostly proteins. Through Kraft’s research, it became possible to produce test and vaccination solutions that contain only those molecules to which people are allergic. In addition to diagnostics, which have since been greatly improved, advanced studies are already being conducted with the recombinant allergens or appropriately modified molecules to desensitize and vaccinate allergy sufferers. Initially, it was not easy for him to implement his planned research projects, especially since the scientific community and all the companies in question considered this concept to be completely utopian. However, Exner-Laureate Kraft had the necessary tenacity. Believing in success, he founded the company Biomay at great personal financial risk, which he also led to success.
Today, Biomay sells a very broad spectrum of recombinant allergens such as pollen allergen from trees, grasses, cereals, weeds, as well as allergens against molds and against plant foods such as apples, carrots or celery, and natural rubber.