MONDAY, Nov. 19, 2018 (HealthDay News) — Patients with peanut allergy who received oral immunotherapy, compared with those who received placebo, were able to ingest higher doses of peanut protein without dose-limiting symptoms, according to a study published online Nov. 18 in the New England Journal of Medicine to coincide with the annual meeting of the American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology, held from Nov. 15 to 19 in Seattle.

Brian P. Vickery, M.D., from the Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta, and colleagues randomly assigned 551 participants aged 4 to 55 years (496 aged 4 to 17 years) with an allergic response to a challenge dose of 100 mg or less of peanut to receive a peanut-derived investigational biologic oral immunotherapy drug (AR101) or placebo. At trial exit, patients who completed the regimen underwent a double-blind, placebo-controlled food challenge.

The researchers found that at the exit food challenge, 67.2 percent of the 372 participants who received AR101 and 4.0 percent of 124 participants who received placebo were able to ingest 600 mg or more of peanut protein without dose-limiting symptoms. The maximum severity of symptoms was moderate in 25 and 59 percent of participants in the active-drug and placebo groups, respectively, and severe in 5 and 11 percent, respectively, during the exit food challenge.

“We’re excited about the potential to help children and adolescents with peanut allergy protect themselves against accidentally eating a food with peanut in it,” a coauthor said in a statement.

The study was funded by Aimmune Therapeutics.

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