Single, antibody-based injection reduces effects of peanut allergy for weeks

Soon, treatment for peanut allergy could be made possible through a single injection – medical scientists at Stanford University, in California, US, found that an (etokimab) injection alone ensured those with severe allergies could stomach peanuts for a time. 

By controlling immune responses, the new treatment is hoped to keep severe allergic reactions from various foodstuffs at bay, report agencies.

Of the 20 adults with severe peanut allergies in the study, 15 were treated with a single etokimab injection while the remaining five received a placebo. After two weeks, 11 of the 15 etokimab recipients could consume a small amount of peanut protein without an allergic reaction, while none of the placebo recipients were able to. The results persisted even after 45 days, when four of seven etokimab recipients showed no reaction to peanut protein, while the placebo group was again unable to do so.

None of the participants reported side effects throughout the study period, but, the scientists did note that highly-sensitised immune markers in people with severe peanut allergies were far less reactive in the etokimab recipients.

Senior author Kari Nadeau, said, “We’re delivering on the hope of testing a drug that won’t be for one food allergy but for many, and for other allergic diseases, too.”

A future study will include more subjects and more in-depth examination of biomarkers for those most likely to benefit from the etokimab treatment.