Biotech company develops peanut allergy drug
Biotechnology company Aimmune Therapeutics has developed a peanut allergy drug that showed lifesaving potential in clinical trials.
The allergy drug contains peanut protein powder.
Participants in the study, all of whom had a peanut allergy, ranged in age from 4 to 55. After nine to 12 months of treatment, the study showed that two-thirds of those who took the peanut allergy drug were able to tolerate two peanuts a day. Half of the patients were able to tolerate four peanuts daily.
Dr. Dean Mitchell, an allergist, says the clinical trial demonstrates that it is possible for some people with a peanut allergy to protect themselves by slowly building up a tolerance to peanuts over time.
Aimmune Therapeutics says the treatment doesn't completely cure a peanut allergy. But the company says it would allow peanut allergy sufferers to better tolerate accidental exposure to small amounts of peanuts, such as trace amounts hidden in packaged foods.
Aimmune plans to apply for FDA approval by the end of the year. If approved, it could be available by prescription in 2019.