New Peanut Allergy Injection Stalls Condition For 2 Weeks

A new treatment has been found effective in allowing people with peanut allergy to eat previously restricted foods without suffering from allergic reactions. Researchers said its effects lasted for more than two weeks. 

The new treatment was tested in 15 people with severe peanut allergy. After receiving a single injection of an antibody called etokimab, 11 participants were able to eat peanut products for 15 days. 

The researchers said it appeared safe and effective to stop allergic reactions. They added it may soon replace oral immunotherapy as faster-acting peanut allergy treatment, Medical News Today reported Monday.

Oral therapies require people to consume the food that triggers their allergic reaction. However, this approach carries the risk of an allergic reaction, requires clinical supervision and could take six months to a year. 

“What's great about this treatment as an option for food allergies is that people did not have to eat the food to get desensitized,” Kari Nadeau, senior study author and professor of medicine and pediatrics at Stanford University, said.

How The Peanut Allergy Injection Works

Etokimab targets the immune system protein interleukin-33 (IL-33), which contributes to allergies. The presence of IL-33 could trigger immune responses that lead to allergic reactions. 

For the study, researchers gathered 20 adults diagnosed with severe peanut allergies to test the new treatment. Five of the participants took only an injection of placebo, while the remaining 15 received a single etokimab injection.

Researchers followed the participants for 15 days and allowed them to consume a small amount of peanut protein. Results showed that 73 percent of people who received etokimab were able to eat 275 milligrams of peanut protein without any allergic reaction. However, those in the placebo group were unable to eat the same amount of food. 

Researchers also noted none of the participants reported severe side effects after taking the peanut allergy injection. Etokimab appeared effective to alter the immune profile of people and reduce their body’s allergic response. 

"By inhibiting IL-33, we potentially inhibit features of all allergies, which is promising," Nadeau said. "We were surprised how long the effects of the treatment lasted."

The researchers plan to continue the study with a larger group of participants and longer trials. They also aim to enhance the injection to treat other forms of food allergies and other diseases.

Peanut The Food Allergy Research & Education estimates there is one person being rushed to the emergency room every three minutes in the U.S. due to a food allergy reaction. Pixabay