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Your child may have access to it by the end of the year.

Arielle Weg
February 20, 2018

If you know a child who suffers from peanut allergies, science may be close to getting approval for the first preventative treatment. As many as 2 million people under the age of 18 in the U.S. suffer from peanut allergies, and it’s only growing, according to STAT News.

Aimmune Therapeutics has completed a successful late-stage clinical trial on a drug called AR101—and it could be approved for peanut allergy preventative treatment by the end of the year.

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The capsule is filled with a sampling of peanut flour which is ingested by opening and mixing into food. The powder works based on recent research which found that slowly increasing exposure to small doses of peanut protein over time can desensitize a person enough to prevent allergic reactions.

The study examined 554 children between the ages of four and 17 who suffer from severe peanut allergies. Patients were given treatment for one year, and completed a double-blind, placebo-controlled food challenge to determine success rates.

According to the press release, 67 percent of patients and four percent of placebo patients tolerated at least 600-milligrams of peanut protein, which meets the minimum requirement of success for approval. Prior to the treatment patients could tolerate about 10 percent of one peanut, compared to the end result equivalent to the size of two peanuts, according to STAT News.

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There are still remaining concerns before the product becomes available: 20 percent of patients using the product—and nearly seven percent who were using the placebo—discontinued treatment. About three percent of these participants left due to allergic hypersensitivity like anaphylaxis, STAT News reports.