Manchester research contributes to breakthrough peanut allergy treatment for children

Children in the UK will be able to receive a life-changing new oral treatment for peanut allergies after the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has approved its use.

NICE approved Palforzia after two large clinical trials in peanut allergy.

Much of this study was carried out in Manchester, including at the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR), Manchester Clinical Research Facility (CRF), Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital (RMCH).

The aim of the study – called the Palisade study – was to assess whether taking small doses of Palforzia (which contains peanuts in the form of peanut powder) and increasing the dose over time , could help peanut-allergic patients slowly develop a tolerance to peanuts.

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The study demonstrated that children with peanut allergy treated with Palforzia exhibited peanut desensitization.

Peanut allergy is a common and serious condition that is associated with serious side effects, including anaphylaxis – a severe, life-threatening allergic reaction affecting one in 50 children in the UK, and is the one of the most common causes of diet-related illnesses. deaths.

About 80% of people remain allergic to peanuts into adulthood.

Peanut allergy is usually treated by strictly avoiding foods containing peanuts, in conjunction with the timely use of rescue medications, including adrenaline for severe reactions.

Manufactured by Aimmune Therapeutics, Palforzia is an oral treatment that aims to provide children with severe allergy with some tolerance to peanut protein.

This is to prevent accidental exposures to small amounts of peanuts resulting in severe reactions.

Royal Children’s Hospital Manchester

Dr Vibha Sharma, Pediatric Allergy Consultant at RMCH and Principal Investigator of the Palisade trial at Manchester CRF, said: “I am delighted that following clinical trials, NICE has approved this treatment for children with allergy to peanuts.

“Children and families living with peanut allergy face many uncertainties and restrictions, in addition to feelings of fear, anxiety and stress in their daily lives.

“The results of this study and other studies demonstrate the potential of this treatment to alleviate severe allergic reactions in the event of accidental exposure to a small amount of peanut. This treatment will have a huge impact on the daily lives of children with allergies. peanuts and their families.

“We are very grateful to our patients and their families for their contribution to this important work.

Kerry Duffin’s daughter, Esther, is 11 years old.

Esther was five years old when she first took part in the Palisade study at Manchester CRF.

Kerry said: “Esther was only one and a half when she had her first serious reaction to peanuts, so she was too young to understand what was happening to her.

“After this incident, I always found it incredibly stressful whenever she was invited to parties or other social situations. I often had to say no because in my mind there was always this question of “ what if she was accidentally exposed to peanuts?”

Esther, 11, plays
Esther, 11, plays

“We are delighted to have participated in this study. When she started the study, she had allergic reactions to 100 and of a peanut. She now has the equivalent of a peanut every day.

“We experienced so many benefits as a result of the study, some unexpected. By taking the peanut treatment, she was able to learn the taste of peanuts and how her body reacts to them. She is 11 now and she can distinguish the specific feeling she gets when exposed to peanuts.

“She can sense the level of reaction, and so we’re able to handle it, it’s opened up the world to her.”

Nicolas Fouché, Senior Vice President and Head, International, Aimmune Therapeutics, said, “We are very proud to have worked with NICE and the peanut allergy community to make Palforzia available in early 2022 for patients aged 4 to 17 years old with a confirmed diagnosis of peanut allergy.

“This long-awaited treatment option has an important role to play in allowing these patients to live with far fewer restrictions and reducing the risk of serious allergic reactions from accidental peanut exposure.”

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