"We were pleased to find that two thirds of the people in the study were able to tolerate the equivalent of two peanuts per day after nine to 12 months of treatment, and half the patients tolerated the equivalent of four peanuts."But if the allergic individual can safely consume a few peanuts, this can be life-changing, as trace exposures will no longer present a severe reaction risk.
The treatment has helped two-thirds of the children who participated in the study eat at least two peanuts with no ill-effects.
Aimmune, which funded the study, plans to submit an application for the drug to federal regulators next month and anticipates it could launch in late 2019.
A new treatment to protect people with peanut allergies is ready for FDA review.
The treatment is not a cure, and the regimen may not appeal to everyone with food allergies.
As anyone reading the ingredients of everyday items such as chocolate bars or savoury sauces will tell you, having a peanut allergy requires an very bad lot of care when eating something unfamiliar. "The large majority of the study participants tolerated the treatment, and I expect the same will be true of its use in the real world when and if it's approved".
Peanut allergy was generally higher in males and racial minorities across all age groups.
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.
Peanut allergies can be deadly-and a complicated practical issue to deal with, as anyone with personal experience with such an allergy (and there's about one million kids in the USA who have one) well knows. Participants in the trial were given small but increasing doses over a year.
The allergy persists into adulthood and can be life-threatening. During the course of this time, the patients went from experiencing allergic reactions as severe as blisters on the tongue with exposure to 1mg of peanut protein, to consuming up to 600mg. It will be available by prescription, and patients will need to remain on it to stay protected against accidental consumption.
"The doses patients tolerate are high enough to likely prevent reactions with cross contamination or allow patients to eat foods with "may contain" or "manufactured in"-type labels", added Ponda, who is assistant chief in the Division of Allergy and Immunology at Northwell Health, in Great Neck, N.Y. She was not involved with the study".