Emerging Treatments for Peanut Allergies
Several therapeutic approaches to manage peanut allergy are currently being studied. These approaches have focused on mitigating the allergic response to peanuts by using peanut extracts administered in various forms and routes of delivery to gradually desensitize patients to peanut allergen. Monoclonal antibodies targeting the antibody-mediated response to peanut allergens are also being studied as monotherapy and in combination with oral immunotherapy.
Results from two studies presented at the American College of Allergy, Asthma, & Immunology Scientific Meeting in October 2018 estimated that 2.2% of children and adolescents (approximately 1.25 million) in the United States have a peanut allergy (an approximate increase of 21% since 2010). The study authors also reported increased annual incidence in newborns from 2001 (a rate of 1.7%, 66,000 babies) to 2017 (5.2%, 210,000 babies).
Non-FDA approved OIT therapy has been used to treat peanut allergy by a relatively small number of allergists, both in academic and non-academic medical settings. However, due to lack of standardization in OIT treatment and safety concerns, its use has not been widespread. In 2014, the Updated Food Allergy Practice Parameter advised against performing OIT in routine clinical practice, citing inadequate evidence supporting therapeutic benefit over risks of therapy.