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  • Writer's pictureFlow Australia

Hopes of a peanut allergy treatment within five years

A groundbreaking trial for a new peanut allergy treatment is seeking participants from across Australia, with hope it could be rolled out within years.

There's hope a new and effective treatment for peanut allergies could be registered in Australia within five years.

Scientists are seeking children aged four to 17 to take part in the phase two trial in clinics across Australia and the United States.

The medication developed at Monash University and Alfred Health is unique because it requires monthly injections and can retrain the immune system to tolerate peanuts, according to Professor Robyn O'Hehir.

The allergy and clinical immunology expert said about half a million Australians live with the potentially fatal condition and although peanut allergy deaths are rare, every patient lives in fear of dying from accidental exposure. 

"There are some treatments available but they all include peanut flour so the treatment can trigger allergic side effects," Prof O'Hehir told reporters on Monday.

"The advantage of our approach is that it does not contain peanut protein and it cannot cause allergic side effects."

Phase two trials will last 12 months and if successful the next stage will begin in 2026.

Professor O'Hehir is optimistic the medication will be registered within five years.

It's something mum-of-two Aleisha Bannan is counting on.

She's so allergic that she cannot even smell peanuts without having symptoms and broke out in hives while breastfeeding her daughter hours after the infant tried peanut butter.

"I am incredibly excited and grateful that treatments like this are coming through," she said. 

"Every day we have to make sure I'm not exposed to peanuts."

The trial has been expanded to the US thanks to a $12 million breakthrough Victoria grant to biotechnology company Aravax, which has taken over development of the treatment.


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