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Wed 18th May 2022 - New £2.2m industry-backed trial aims to prove peanut and milk products can be used for food allergy treatment
New £2.2m industry-backed trial aims to prove peanut and milk products can be used for food allergy treatment: A new ground-breaking study backed by the industry is aiming to prove that peanut and milk products can be used as a treatment for people living with food allergies. The three-year oral immunotherapy trial will be the first major study funded by The Natasha Allergy Research Foundation, the charity set up by the parents of Natasha Ednan-Laperouse, who died aged 15 from a severe food allergic reaction. It aims to show that everyday foods containing peanut or milk, taken under medical supervision, can be used as an alternative to expensive pharmaceutical drugs. If successful, participants with persistent food allergies would no longer have to avoid foods that might contain small amounts of allergens due to production. The £2.2m trial will be led by the researchers at the University of Southampton and University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust, partnering with Imperial College London, University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust, Newcastle University and Sheffield Children’s Hospital. By using “everyday foods” instead of expensive pharmaceuticals, it could open up potential life-long treatment for hundreds of thousands of people living with allergies, at a fraction of the cost to the NHS. Following an initial 12 months of desensitisation, participants will be monitored for a further two years in order to report on longer-term safety and cost-effectiveness. Tanya Ednan-Laperouse said: “We have been determined that Natasha’s death should not be in vain. Following the successful implementation of Natasha’s Law, which has brought new ingredient and allergen labelling, we are delighted to announce the first Natasha Clinical Trial.” Nadim Ednan-Laperouse said: “This is a major first step in our mission to make food allergies history. We are delighted a consortium of food businesses are supporting our work with donations that will help fund this study.” The research partners who have helped fund Natasha’s Foundation include Greggs, Just Eat, KFC, Costa Coffee, Burger King, Pret A Manger, Leon, Cooplands and UberEats. Dr Paul Turner, reader in paediatric allergy and clinical immunology at Imperial College London, added: “This study heralds a new era for the active treatment of food allergy. For too long, we have told people just to avoid the food they are allergic to – that is not a treatment, and food-allergic people and their families deserve better.”

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