For those of us coping with peanut allergies, there’s hope on the horizon. A new drug that’s being tested by Aimmune Therapeutics has shown progress in desensitizing children with peanut allergies. The drug is actually a peanut protein powder capsule that, when sprinkled onto foods in small doses, can train a child’s immune system to react differently to peanuts,
The study conducted by Aimmune introduced about 500 children, aged four to 17, to larger increments of their peanut powder as the test period went on. After the six-month test period was up, 67% of the participants could handle eating about two peanuts without suffering an allergic attack. This amount is enough to possibly prevent a deadly reaction, CBS News reports.
However, there’s still a long way to go before Aimmune Therapy’s product can be released to the public.
The study still needs to be reviewed by experts in the field. Because, like a vaccine, this drug introduces a small dose of peanut powder into a child’s immune system, the side effects could be problematic for those who are extremely allergic.
Aimmune plans to file for FDA approval by the end of this year. If and when this new treatment hits the market, parents can breathe a sigh of relief and worry less about their child’s peanut allergy.