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FDA approves first-ever peanut allergy treatment

FDA approves first-ever peanut allergy treatment
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A first-of-its-kind drug meant to treat peanut allergies has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Aimmune Therapeutics is behind the drug, called Palforzia, which exposes patients to small amounts of peanuts and helps build up their resistance. It announced its FDA approval in a press release Friday

“Not only is Palforzia the first approved therapy for peanut allergy, but it is the first approved therapy for any food allergy,” Daniel Adelman, M.D., Chief Medical Officer of Aimmune Therapeutics said in a press release.

The press release also noted more than 1,200 patients and their families participated in clinical trials of the drug.

The company first announced that their drug was showing promise in 2018, after a study showed the treatment allowed children and adolescents to consume small amounts of peanuts without suffering a serious reaction. 

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The CEO of Food Allergy Research and Education (FARE), Lisa Gable, said that the new drug "fills a long-standing need in the treatment of peanut allergy." 

"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,” Gable said in the press release. 

Aimmune Therapeutics notes that peanut allergies have jumped rapidly in recent years. From 1997 to 2008, the United States saw peanut allergies triple from 1-in-250 children to 1-in-70 children.