McMaster researchers discover 'transformative' peanut allergy treatment

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Researchers at McMaster University in Hamilton say they’ve discovered a potentially transformative treatment for those living with a peanut allergy.

It’s believed that the treatment could be used for other food allergies, as well.

Manel Jordana is a professor of medicine at McMaster and the senior author of the new paper.

He says there is an effective allergy-blocking antibody that has already been tested for its use against asthma, eczema, and nasal polyps.

The company behind the treatment, Regeneron, now wants to expand its use for food allergies.

It’s understood that in certain individuals, the immune system mistakenly identifies a specific food protein as harmful and triggers the production of an antibody to eliminate it.

Susan Waserman, professor of medicine at Mac and director of the Division of Clinical Immunology and Allergy, shares a lab with Jordana. The pair believe that by using an antibody blocker, the allergic response can be diverted, preventing anaphylaxis.

Right now, the only available treatment for a peanut allergy is epinephrine, which is given only after an allergic reaction has occurred. The treatment from Regeneron, however, could be used prior to consumption, acting as a preventative measure.

Testing of the treatment is already underway and researchers are expecting progress to happen “very soon.”

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