Researchers have finally found a treatment taken only one a month to save the lives of peanut-allergy sufferers.
Scientists from Adelaide’s Alfred Hospital and Melbourne’s Monash University have teamed up with Aravax to develop the PVX108 injection.
In breakthrough trials conducted more than 18 months on patients, researchers managed to avoid dangerous side effects of the common peanut allergy.
Mark Hew, head of the allergy, asthma, and clinical immunology unit at The Alfred Hospital in Melbourne said the discoveries were exciting.
He told the Herald Sun: “There are two benefits, it is safer and the injections can be given two weeks or four weeks apart rather than eating a little bit of peanuts every day for the rest of their lives.”
In other trials where patients have been exposed to peanuts to increase their tolerance, many experienced anaphylactic shocks and been left in urgent need of an EpiPen to combat the effects.
But when sufferers were exposed to peanut proteins during the new trial on patients in Adelaide and Melbourne, they didn’t suffer from an anaphylactic reaction.
The results will be presented to a medical conference in San Francisco by Monash University Professor Robyn O’Hehir, also the chief medical adviser to Aravax.
“This is a significant breakthrough in the search for a safe therapy for peanut allergy,” she said.
The tests became effective after cutting the peanut proteins into smaller sections, or peptides, to protect sufferers from the life-threatening side effects of being exposed to the whole protein.
Melbourne scientists have been working on the technology for 15 years before human trials began in 2017.
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