Australian scientists are one step closer to marketing the first-ever peanut allergy cure. Researchers from the Murdoch Childrens Research Institute in Melbourne created a promising treatment that turns off the body’s deadly reaction to peanuts.
The treatment involves introducing peanuts with probiotics, which subsequently deactivates fatal allergic reaction to peanuts within just several months. The treatment has been found effective in 82 percent of the children and lasts up to five weeks after finishing the lifesaving treatment.
The probiotic used was Lactobacillus rhamnosus, which was administered daily to 62 children ages one to 10 years. The effect allowed the kids to tolerate the equivalent of 16 peanuts after 18 months of treatment. On the other hand, the placebo only caused tolerance among four percent of the participants.
The idea is that combining the probiotic with the allergen would create the right environment that prevents our immune system from causing allergic reactions like stomach pains, vomiting and hives. Further trials already began in 2016, but this time, 200 children from Melbourne, Adelaide and Perth are involved.
“Based on the results we have seen to date, if nine children were given probiotic and peanut therapy, seven would benefit,” says lead researcher Mimi Tang. “This is a very promising result, and we look forward to seeing further evidence from the current trial and progressing the development of this approach.”
The capital investment firm OneVentures will invest $8 million in the Probiotic Therapies for Allergy treatment, says the Murdoch Childrens Research Institute in a statement. Still, an extra $7 million is needed to commercialize the peanut allergy cure.
OneVentures will focus on making the treatment available worldwide as well as getting approval from the US Food and Drug Administration. It would still take more than five years before the vaccine becomes available for use. Tang plans to find out if the same treatment can also be used for other food allergies and for adults.