Researchers make breakthrough in potential treatment for peanut allergy

Peanut allergy could be beaten by building up tolerance, study finds

Severe peanut allergy could be overcome by building up tolerance according to study

But that improvement came at a cost - almost all of the study participants who received the drug, a pharmaceutical-grade preparation of peanut flour, suffered adverse events of some type, and 1 in 10 withdrew from the trial because of gastrointestinal, skin or respiratory problems or systemic allergic reactions. On average, each participant was able to tolerate exposure to a 100-fold higher dose of peanut after the study compared to the initial result.

The goal of the treatment is not to cure the allergy or enable children to eat peanut butter sandwiches, but to reduce the risk that an accidental exposure to trace amounts will trigger a life-threatening reaction in someone with a severe allergy, and relieve the fear and anxiety that go along with severe peanut allergies.

The resulting drug, referred to as AR101 in the study, contained defatted peanut flour created to help users eventually reduce sensitivity to peanut exposure.

Sophie Pratt, 44, from north London, enrolled her six-year-old daughter Emily onto the study.

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'Before Emily took part we were uncomfortable being more than twenty minutes away from a hospital and she wasn't able to attend play dates or parties without me or my husband being there. After that time, two-thirds of the 372 people who were treated with AR101 were able to have 600 mgs of peanut protein (about two peanuts) without having an allergic reaction.

"This could be lifesaving for individuals who are so reactive that they could have an anaphylactic reaction to a very small amount of product that is only present in say a cross-contact situation", said Jarvinen-Seppo.

"We'd still be asking patients to be reviewing labels and not ingest anything with peanut in them", Keet said. The kids, who initially had allergic reactions to peanut protein in amounts no larger than 100mg, were given increasing doses of AR101 over six months, followed by six months of a "maintenance" dose. But it is definitely a breakthrough and "results of this landmark trial are likely to lead to the first FDA-approved treatment for food allergy in 2019".

'The impact on our family life was huge'.

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Peanut allergies are increasingly prevalent among children in the United States and other industrialized countries.

People rarely outgrow the allergy which is the most common cause of food allergy deaths.

The PALISADE study was funded by Aimmune Therapeutics, manufacturers of the peanut protein used during the trial.

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