Cure for Peanut Allergy on the Horizon
Peanut allergies affect over five million children in the U.S. and even more worldwide. The affects on some children with these allergies can range from a small reaction, to life threatening complications, making a child's day to day life pretty tough. Having to comb through menus in hopes you find something safe for your child, worrying about the reactions to food in schools, at camps, even birthday parties. Allergies have become such common place that schools and daycare centers have imposed strict regulations on food products allowed in the buildings. There is some good news though, according to Western Mass News, the cure for peanut allergies might be closer than we think.
Aimmune Therapeutics has been working with doctors to test daily doses of peanut flour, either in pill form, or sprinkled over food, intended to gradually boost a child's tolerance to the nut. The California based company said out of 500 children ages 4 to 17, 67 percent of kids who had its treatment were able to tolerate the equivalent of roughly two peanuts at the end of the study, compared to only 4 percent of others given a placebo.
My first thought, was how is this peanut powder study safe, if the patient is allergic to peanuts? Well, about 12 percent of the 500 children did in fact drop out due to reactions or other problems, however success was seen by the majority. The rest of the participants were given either capsules of peanut flour or a placebo powder, which gradually increased amounts for six months, then continued on that final level for another six months. For the entire year, neither the participants nor their doctors knew who was getting what until the study ended.
So when can we see this product available to the public? The studies findings have yet to be reviewed by an independent party, but Aimmune Therapeutics, plans on presenting it at an upcoming meeting of medical experts, in addition to their intention to file for approval by the Food and Drug administration by the end of this year.