Promising Results for Toddlers With Peanut Allergy Using Skin Patch Treatment

A phase 3 worldwide clinical trial, including participation from the Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago, has demonstrated that a year-long skin patch immunotherapy can safely desensitize toddlers with peanut allergies, reducing the potential for severe allergic reactions due to inadvertent exposure. The outcomes of this randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study, targeting children aged 1-3 years and sponsored by DBV Technologies, were featured in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Study co-author, Dr. Melanie Makhija, expressed her excitement over the results, stating, “This ground-breaking research brings a lot of hope to our young patients suffering from peanut allergies.” Dr. Makhija, who was the Chief Investigator of the study at Lurie Children’s and an Associate Professor of Pediatrics at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, added, “After the treatment, children initially sensitive to a small quantity of peanuts could withstand the equivalent of one to four peanuts. This implies they can now be better safeguarded against accidental peanut exposure. Most importantly, the peanut patch demonstrated very low risk of severe allergic reactions, which is wonderful news for families with peanut-allergic children.”

Around 2 percent of children in the U.S., Canada, and other Western countries are affected by peanut allergies, often persisting into adulthood. Even tiny amounts can trigger severe, potentially fatal reactions, including through indirect exposure via products processed on equipment shared with peanuts. As of now, there are no authorized treatments for peanut allergies in children under 4 years old.

The food allergies clinical trials program at Lurie Children’s has been engaging patients in multiple studies investigating new treatments since 2012, including FDA-approved oral immunotherapy for peanuts. The program continues to offer trials for all age ranges, from infants to young adults, under the guidance of Principal Investigators Dr. Elizabeth Lippner and Dr. Abigail Lang, MSCI.

Research at Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago is conducted via the Stanley Manne Children’s Research Institute. The Institute is dedicated to enhancing child health, revolutionizing pediatric medicine, and guaranteeing healthier futures through the persistent pursuit of knowledge. As a nonprofit organization, Lurie Children’s is committed to delivering exceptional care for every child, and is recognized as one of the leading children’s hospitals in the nation by U.S. News & World Report. It also serves as the pediatric training center for Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine.

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