Experimental Peanut Allergy Drug Shows Promise, But With Side Effects

An experimental treatment that could become the first drug to treat severe peanut allergies is generating a lot of media buzz due to positive trial results, though a closer look at the data reveals that the drug has some considerable side effects.

Results for the the drug, AR101, were published Sunday in the New England Journal of Medicine, and found that about two-thirds of the children given the medication were able to eat about 600 milligrams of peanut protein – roughly equivalent to two peanuts – without having an allergic reaction. By comparison, only 4% of the children given a placebo were able to tolerate the peanut after a year.

The trial, which enrolled 551 children, nearly all of whom were between 4 and 17 years old, was funded by Aimmune Therapeutics, AR101’s developer. The drug, which is actually made from peanut flour, is designed to work by gradually desensitizing a child to the allergy.

Results showed that 20% of the children who were in the AR101 group dropped out of the study, and more than half this number was due to adverse events. In addition, 14% of those on active treatment needed an injection of epinephrine, a medication used in emergencies for those experiencing severe allergic reactions. In the placebo group, just 6.5% of participants required epinephrine.

More children in the AR101 group experienced serious adverse events compared to those taking a placebo. The most common side effects experienced were abdominal pain, vomiting, itching and nausea.

 


Jonathan Block

Jonathan Block

Jonathan Block is an associate editor at BioCentury, which provides news and information about the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries. Prior to joining BioCentury in 2019, Jonathan worked for MedShadow as content editor. He has been an editor and writer for multiple pharmaceutical, health and medical publications, including The Pink Sheet, Modern Healthcare, Health Plan Week and Psychiatry Advisor. He holds a BA from Tufts University and is earning an MPH with a focus on health policy from the CUNY Graduate School of Public Health & Health Policy.


Did you find this article helpful?

No votes so far! Be the first to rate this post.


Latest News

Belviq, ActiPatch, Free Samples, Dollar Tree Drugs

Belviq, ActiPatch, Free Samples, Dollar Tree Drugs

We knew it was too good to be true – free and cheap drugs aren’t worth it. Also, taking a magic pill to lose weight could give you cancer (!). One ray of sunshine: a pain therapy device using shortwave is now available over-the-counter. Have a lovely Valentine’s Day! Be…

Flouride, PPIs, Breast Density and Prostate Cancer

Flouride, PPIs, Breast Density and Prostate Cancer

Startling news about fluoride, a study encourages more limites use of PPIs, does knowing the density of your breasts matter, and vegetables aren’t helpful in warding off prostate cancer (darn).  Be Well.  Fluoride and Pregnancy The medical community was shocked at the conclusions of two new studies on fluoride’s effect…

  • Advertisement