The research found that after a year of immunotherapy toddlers with peanut allergies can safely desensitise using a skin patch. The patches significantly reduced the risk of severe allergic reactions from accidental exposure. The results of the phase 3 trial, funded by DBV Technologies and published in the New England Journal of Medicine, offer promising hope for young patients with peanut allergies.
The study, which included children aged 1-3 years, utilised a randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled approach. Children who initially reacted to a small fraction of a peanut were able to tolerate the equivalent of one to four peanuts after completing the treatment course. This significant increase in tolerance means that these children will be better protected from accidental exposure to peanuts. Importantly, the researchers observed that the peanut patch was safe, with minimal chances of severe allergic reactions.
Dr. Melanie Makhija, the co-author of the study and Principal Investigator at Lurie Children’s, expressed her excitement about the study’s potential impact. She emphasised the importance of the findings for families of children with peanut allergies. Highlighting that the treatment offers a safe and effective solution to prevent severe allergic reactions.
Who does this research help?
Peanut allergy affects around 2 percent of children in the United States, Canada, and other developed countries, and it often persists into adulthood. Accidental exposure to even small quantities of peanuts can lead to life-threatening allergic reactions. Currently, there are no approved treatments for children under 4 years old with peanut allergies.
Lurie Children’s Hospital has been actively involved in clinical trials for food allergies since 2012.
They have conducted studies on novel treatments, including oral immunotherapy for peanuts that has received FDA approval. The hospital’s clinical trials program, led by Principal Investigators Dr. Elizabeth Lippner and Dr. Abigail Lang, offers ongoing trials for various age groups, from infancy to young adulthood.
The research conducted at Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital is facilitated through the Stanley Manne Children’s Research Institute. With a focus on improving child health and transforming pediatric medicine. The institute is dedicated to advancing knowledge and ensuring healthier futures for children.