Child peanut allergy patch completes phase 3 trial, awaits FDA approval
ATLANTA, Ga. (Atlanta News First) - Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta was instrumental in a first-of-its-kind study for children ages one to four, to help mitigate peanut allergies.
It is Food Allergy Awareness Week, and studies show peanut allergies are among the most common. They affect 30,000 children in metro Atlanta alone.
The breakthrough study reveals promising results for a skin patch that could protect patients from accidental exposures. The patch about the size of a quarter and placed on the back like a Band-Aid.
Four-year-old Kaleb Billeter was part of that study and recently graduated with promising results.
He always had to play it safe when it came to peanuts.
“Now, what do you eat each morning?” asks his mother, Elizabeth Billeter.
“Peanut butter!” responds Kaleb.
Now that he has ended the study, doctors have instructed him to eat a little peanut butter each day to keep his body used to it.
Billeter says it is an accomplishment she never imagined before her son started the trial three years ago.
“I think the benefit of the patch study was to give him that ‘oops’ bite, where if he eats something and tastes that it does have peanuts, he knows to put it down, rather than immediately needing an EpiPen or immediately needing to go to the E.R.,” she explains.
“This leads to desensitization of these patients with peanut allergies, which is not a cure, but helps to protect them from accidental exposures,” says Dr. Brian Vickery, Chief of Allergy and Immunology and the Director of the Food Allergy Program at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta.
“I got into this field about 15 years ago,” he says. “There was really no option at all for patients, except for: ‘Be careful. Try not to eat the wrong thing. Here is your epinephrine device.’”
Dr. Vickery was a principal investigator on this phase three trial, which is the last stage of testing before a medication can be approved by the FDA. It involved 350 participants from across the U.S., Europe and Australia.
Dr. Vickery recently co-authored the study results in the New England Journal of Medicine. Now, it is awaiting FDA approval.
“Obviously, one day, we are working toward curing this disease and making it go away completely,” Dr. Vickery explains. “But our short-term goal is to be able to offer patients, not just one, but multiple treatment options.”
It will take a few months to learn if the patch has been approved.
There is an upcoming study for a peanut allergy patch for children ages four to seven. If you want to participate or learn more about other food allergy trials, you can click here or email email@example.com.
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