A new peanut allergy treatment may be promising for children who otherwise suffer serious reactions.
The experimental drug that shows that it is possible to develop a tolerance to peanuts over time is ready for review by the US Food and Drug Administration. Final search results published in The New England Journal of Medicine was also presented at the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology Annual Scientific Meeting on Sunday.
A phase three study included 551 people, most aged 4 to 17 years, with a history of life-threatening reactions after eating peanuts. Participants received the experimental drug derived from peanut daily over several months.
The study's authors hoped the treatment would allow patients one or two peanuts a day without a serious reaction. Allergist and co-author Stephen Tilles said he was pleased to find that two-thirds of the people in the study could tolerate two peanuts daily after nine to 12 months of treatment – and half could eat four peanuts a day. Almost all children experienced allergic reactions during the one-year trial funded by Aimmune Therapeutics, but less than five percent were classified as severe.
"We are excited about the potential of helping children and adolescents with peanut allergy protect themselves against accidental eating of food with peanuts," he said in a statement.
Currently, there are no approved treatments available for those suffering from peanut allergy.
Co-author and allergist Jay Lieberman, vice chair of the ACAAI Food Allergy Committee, hopes the drug can be approved for use next year.
"This is not a quick fix, and that does not mean that people with [a] The peanut allergy will be able to eat peanuts whenever you want, "Lieberman said in a statement. But it's definitely a breakthrough. "
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