New Peanut Allergy Treatment Developed
About 1.5 million people in the U.S. have a peanut allergy. Each year, thousands of them need emergency treatment. And about 50 to 100 people per year die after accidentally eating peanuts.
A new drug, which is not yet available to the public, would make the reactions less severe, although it wouldn’t cure the allergy. Participants in a study for the drug, which is given as a monthly injection, began to have allergic reactions after eating nine peanuts, on average. Most peanut allergy deaths occur when a person is accidentally exposed to the equivalent of only one or two nuts.
The medication, called TNX-901, is a genetically engineered antibody. It binds to a molecule that plays a role in triggering the allergic response. TNX-901 is likely to be available within several years.
The American Academy of Asthma, Allergy and Immunology; New England Journal of Medicine, 14 March 2003.