Publicado: Jue, Noviembre 22, 2018
Salud | Por Gertrudes Rodriquez

New drug promises protection for people with peanut allergies

New drug promises protection for people with peanut allergies

By the end of the trial, two-thirds of children who were given the treatment, dubbed AR101, were able to tolerate 600 milligrams of peanut protein-the equivalent of two peanuts-without experiencing allergic symptoms.

Nearly 500 children aged four to 17 were recruited from the United States and Europe by the PALISADE study to take part in the biggest ever peanut allergy treatment trial.

It found those not usually able to tolerate exposure to even a tenth of a single peanut could "eventually cope with two whole peanuts".

The team worked with participants ranging from 4 to 55 years old (most between 4 to 17 years old), all of whom were allergic to peanuts.

Professor George du Toit, paediatric allergy consultant at Evelina London and the study's chief investigator, said: 'Peanut allergy is extremely hard to manage for children and their families, as they have to follow a strict peanut-free diet.

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"Reactions from the oral challenges at the end of the study were much milder than prior to treatment", said Dr Tilles. The publication notes that, "despite vigilance, accidental exposures may occur and cause reactions of unpredictable severity, even with small amounts of allergen, leading to a lifelong risk of severe reactions".

The AR101 immunotherapy trial, conducted partly at UCC's Infant Centre, involved slowly introducing peanut protein into a child's system over 6 to 12 months.

"Almost 6 million American children are now living with a life-threatening food allergy", said Ciaccio.

"On average, the participants were able to tolerate a 100-fold higher dose of peanut at the end of the study than they did at the beginning. The goal of this treatment is to help protect people from those potentially life-threatening reactions".

"For now, the advice will be for ongoing treatment", said Wayne G. Shreffler, director of the Food Allergy Center at Massachusetts General Hospital and one of the study authors who has received trial funding and fees from Aimmune. One third of the participants were given a placebo, while the remaining two-thirds were given peanut protein powder in increasing amounts until reaching the "maintenance dose" - the dose they stayed on for the remainder of the study. But the treatment could offer the peace of mind that accidentally consuming a small amount of peanuts won't trigger a reaction. Once someone stops the treatment, there is no longer a protective effect. If approved, it could be available by prescription in 2019.

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