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Clinical trial offers new approach to managing severe food allergies in children

Posted: 8 May 2024 | | No comments yet

A Natasha Allergy Research Foundation funded trial has been carried out, observing children with “severe milk and peanut allergies”. Find out more here…

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A new clinical trial has been carried out at University Hospital Southampton that has given children with “severe milk and peanut allergies” daily doses of everyday food products, consumed under medical supervision.

The three-year trial, funded by The Natasha Allergy Research Foundation, can reportedly “train the bodies of children and young people to tolerate an allergen”, according to University Hospital Southampton.

But what does the new approach involve? Well according to the researchers at the University of Southampton, UHS and Imperial College London carrying out the trail it is known as oral immunotherapy (OIT), something it hopes will allow children with food hypersensitivity to “live without the fear of a potentially fatal reaction”.

Previously, New Food spoke to Tanya Ednan-Laperouse, the mother of Natasha, a girl who tragically died from a fatal reaction to eating sesame seeds that were baked into the dough of a baguette.

Episode 43: Living with food allergies – Part Three

In a “Food To Go” podcast episode, Assistant Editor Grace Galler sat down with Tanya to discuss the story behind her starting the foundation and her hopes for current research and how it could support those living with food hypersensitivity, as well as their families and loved ones.

Now, the £2.5 million “Natasha Trial” is been dubbed the “first major study to be funded by Natasha’s Foundation”.

To date, 139 children have started treatment on the trail, all of whom ages between 2 to 23 years old. According to University Hospital Southampton, it is being carried out at a total of five hospitals, with four further hospitals expected to join later.

Commenting on the Natasha Trail, Hasan Arshad is a Professor of Allergy and Clinical Immunology at the University of Southampton and Head of the Asthma, Allergy and Clinical Immunology Service at UHS, stated:  “We must wait until the trial is complete for the full picture, but we are very pleased with the results we are seeing so far.”

Looking to the future, a statement from University Hospital Southampton confirms that, “if successful, the trial will provide the evidence for the treatment to be made available on the NHS”.

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