Peanut allergy medicine has tie to Louisville

The drug Palforzia will soon be available to treat peanut allergies.
Updated: Feb. 5, 2020 at 5:25 PM EST
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LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - A groundbreaking drug was just approved to help ease the severe and sometimes deadly reactions from peanut allergies: Louisville doctors played a part in this breakthrough.

An alarming number of kids are sent to the ER after allergic reactions to food. More than 40 percent of children with food allergies have experienced a severe allergic reaction.

"Anaphylaxis is a severe allergic reaction that can potentially be life threatening," Dr. Wes Sublett an allergist from Family Allergy and Asthma said.

“Peanut allergy is one of the most common food allergies that we see. One in 13 children have some type of food allergy peanut being one of the most common.” said Sublett.

Dr. Wes Sublett and another colleague at Family Allergy and Asthma in Louisville played a role in the first drug to treat peanut allergies in kids between the ages of 4 to 17. The drug is called Palforzia. It’s not a cure but it could save lives.

"It’s exciting to be at the forefront of developing such therapies for food allergic patients," Dr. Sublett said.

Family Allergy and Asthma got involved with researchers two years ago. The practice has been an investigative site for the development of the drug. Numerous patients took part in the Palforzia study.

"I think one of the things were were able to see in our patients in the safety extension study is that there is really a reduction in risk with accidental ingestions," Dr. Sublett said.

The new treatment essentially works by exposing children to controlled dosages of peanut protein over time. Dr. Sublett says Palforzia has the potential to change the lives of young people diagnosed with life-threatening peanut allergies. He says the drug could lead to less worry and more living.

People should still avoid eating peanuts, even if you do end up taking Palforzia. It will come with side effects like any other drug. Dr. Sublet says it will be availble to patients starting in March.

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