Experimental Treatment Helps Protect 2 Out of 3 Kids With Peanut Allergies

An experimental treatment for children with severe peanut allergies helped two out of three patients reduce the severity of their allergic reactions, according to a study published Sunday in the New England Journal of Medicine. The treatment, lead author Brian Vickery told CNN, was simple: each day, the child would take a peanut powder-filled capsule that would administer an extremely small dose of the allergen. The doses would increase bit-by-bit until the maintenance phase, during which the child would receive a dose equal to one peanut a day. By the end of the study, two-thirds of the patients were able to eat a dose equivalent to two peanuts without suffering a severe allergic reaction. Vickery noted that this treatment is nowhere near a cure, and that it’s only safe if the procedure is followed exactly—but that it could provide a safety net for children who suffer life-threatening reactions to trace amount of peanuts. “It's been a huge success,” the mother of one participant told CNN, adding that the study has given her “peace of mind.” Aimmune Therapeutics Inc., the company behind the treatment, will reportedly submit an application to the FDA in December.