A new drug could help kids build up a tolerance to peanuts. On September 13, health experts advised the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to approve the treatment.
“This is an important day for the children, [the] teens, and their families who live with . . . peanut allergy,” said Jayson Dallas. He is CEO of Aimmune Therapeutics. This company developed the new drug.
More than 1 million kids in the U.S. are allergic to peanuts. Allergic reactions send about 25% of them to a hospital emergency room each year.
The new drug contains tiny amounts of peanut protein. A child takes it every day. After a while, the child can safely eat the equivalent of two peanuts. Eating a trace amount may no longer be life-threatening.
There are risks. In a test, more than 9% of patients had a severe allergic reaction to the drug.
Cathy Heald’s son is 12. He’s allergic to peanuts. Heald wants the drug to be approved. “The peace of mind this treatment brings is invaluable,” she says.