New food allergies drug may prevent severe reactions to peanuts, egg and milk

A drug already approved for asthma and chronic hives may protect people with multiple food allergies against severe reactions to peanuts, eggs and milk.

For people with multiple food allergies, new research suggests that a drug already approved for asthma and chronic hives may protect against severe reactions to peanuts, eggs, milk and other foods. 

In an early analysis of data from a clinical trial backed by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, 165 children and adolescents who received injections of the drug Xolair were able to consume higher doses of the foods without triggering an allergic reaction, compared to those who treated with placebos, Dr. Alkis Togias, chief of the allergy, asthma and airway biology branch at NIAID, said.

“The major advantage of this medication is that it will cover more than one food and that it has been around for about two decades and we know its safety profile, which is pretty good,” Togias said.

The monoclonal antibody omalizumab, marketed as Xolair and developed by Genentech and Novartis, is already available as a treatment for asthma. The medication was shown to reduce allergic asthma attacks and hives in clinical trials. 

On Dec. 19, the NIAID and Genentech announced that the Food and Drug Administration was fast-tracking the approval of the injectable medication to be used against accidental exposure to foods.

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Updated: 3 months ago
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