The final research results for a new treatment for protection against accidental exposure to peanut were presented at the American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology (ACAAI) Annual Scientific Meeting held November 15-19 in Seattle.
The results of the study, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, show it is possible for some people with peanut allergy to protect themselves from accidental ingestion by building up their tolerance to peanuts over time. At the end of the study, after treatment, two-thirds of the participants were able to tolerate a single dose of the equivalent of two peanuts per day.
Dr. Stanley Fineman of Atlanta Allergy & Asthma was a co-author on the study and the Atlanta Allergy & Asthma Research Department participated in the breakthrough research that will help protect patients with peanut allergy.
"We were fortunate to have the opportunity to participate in this research study," Dr. Fineman says. "Data shows very impressive results with AR101 (standardized peanut protein) with 67 percent of children able to eat 600 milligrams."
Although participants ranged in age from 4-55 years of age, the study was geared specifically for ages 4-17 years and the treatment effect in that age group was the most significant.
Currently there are no approved treatment options for peanut allergic patients. If approved by the FDA, it will be available by prescription, and people with peanut allergy will need to continue taking it to stay protected against accidental consumption. Once the treatment is stopped, there is no longer a protective effect.
This does not mean that peanut-allergic patients will be able to eat peanuts, but it demonstrates a huge breakthrough. The study authors are hoping that the treatment will be approved by the FDA and available in the second half of 2019.
Read the ACAAI press release here.