Peanut allergy is more common than ever, these days, but unlike seasonal allergies, this one can be deadly. Indeed, food allergies (like shellfish) in general seem to be quite dangerous. With afflictions on the rise, it is more important than ever for families to be prepared for unexpected exposure but it is also crucial for scientists to devise better and more effective treatments.
That said, Aimmune Therapeutics Inc is working on a new drug that could treat life-threatening allergic reactions to food. Furthermore, they close out the first month of 2020 with a new drug approval from the United States Food and Drug Administration.
The drug, in this case, is known as PALFORZIA, and it is the first approved treatment for patients suffering from peanut allergy. Apparently, this oral immunotherapy can mitigate extreme allergic reaction—including life-threatening anaphylaxis—that can occur nearly immediately after accidental exposure to peanut.
Aimmune Therapeutics President and CEO, Jayson Dallas, MD, comments, “Peanut allergy carries an overwhelming psychosocial burden that impacts patients and their families daily—peanuts are everywhere, and the threat of a severe reaction related to an accidental peanut exposure dominates families daily lives.”
Dallas goes on to say, “This is a defining moment for the peanut allergy community and for Aimmune Therapeutics, and we are excited to bring the first FDA-approved treatment for peanut allergy to patients and their families.”
Peanut allergy is among the most common food allergies in the world. It reportedly affects 1.6 million children and teenagers in the United States alone. A recent study estimates that peanut allergies involving children have an economic cost of $24.8 billion, every year, with upwards of $4.3 billion related directly to medical costs. As such, the food allergy community has been fervently waiting for the FDA to approve a treatment that is not only safe and effective but also accessible.
At the end of the day, Aimmune Therapeutics Chief Medical Officer, Daniel Adelman, MD explains, “Our commercial field team is ready to begin engaging with allergists to help them prepare to safely incorporate PALFORZIA into their practices and, with approval in hand, our payer team can also immediately begin work to secure formulary access to PALFORZIA. We view this approval as just the beginning for Aimmune, and it underscores our continued commitment to bringing innovative treatments to people with potentially life-threatening food allergies.”