Leading Allergists, Researchers and Food Allergy Advocates to Discuss State of ‘Food Oral Immunotherapy in Practice’ at Summit
McLEAN, VA (May 1, 2019) — Food Allergy Research & Education (FARE), the largest private funder of food allergy research in the world, today announced an oral immunotherapy (OIT) summit that will convene leading allergists, researchers and food allergy advocates. The summit intends to address the risks and benefits of OIT, OIT implementation in practice and the gaps in knowledge about OIT to enable physicians to have a better understanding of this therapy and to help patients make fully-informed choices about treatment options. The summit will also examine future therapies that could provide safer and more effective options for families considering treatment.
OIT involves introducing increasing amounts of an allergen, such as peanuts, to allergic individuals with the goal of increasing the threshold triggering a reaction. An increasing number of allergists are offering OIT in private practices around the U.S. At the same time, the FDA is currently reviewing AR101, a peanut oral immunotherapy product, and an application for Viaskin Peanut, an epicutaneous immunotherapy, is being resubmitted.
“There are 32 million Americans living with food allergies, a disease that carries the daily burden of 24-hour vigilance to prevent life-threatening reactions,” said FARE CEO Lisa Gable. “The current standard of care — avoidance or treatment of serious reactions with epinephrine and a trip to the emergency room can be costly and negatively impact quality of life. FARE is organizing the ‘Food OIT in Practice’ summit to bring together the country’s top experts to discuss treatment options, including in-office oral immunotherapy, which may offer the possibility of living a life with less anxiety and fear of acute allergic reactions caused by accidental exposure.”
FARE was pleased to announce plans for the invitation-only summit at its recently held Research Retreat, attended by top research scientists in the field. Invitees include representatives from government agencies and professional allergy associations as well as other key experts in the field, and importantly, representatives of the patient community.
To better serve patients with food allergies, FARE believes it is essential to bring food allergy stakeholders together to work toward standardizing diagnostic criteria, discuss OIT regimens and address potential outcome assessments necessary to better identify the risks and benefits of this treatment. A new review article on peanut oral immunotherapy published last week by The Lancet has drawn attention to the rigors and risk of OIT compared with avoidance while calling for more data on long-term quality of life effect of therapy.
“OIT is well-supported by medical research, however, there is still work to be done to ensure immunotherapies are as safe and effective as they can possibly be,” said Dr. Thomas B. Casale, FARE’s Chief Medical Advisor for Operations. “What The Lancet review does not fully explore is the long-term impact, benefits and protection that can be achieved through this therapy in relation to the risks involved with the OIT. We know that oral immunotherapy has had a positive life-changing impact on patients’ lives, but we don’t yet fully understand which patients are the best candidates for this therapy. We need more research not only on who will best respond to this treatment, but about the long-term benefits OIT provides in protecting against accidental exposures and improvements in quality of life. We are committed to advancing research efforts into new therapies and their safety and efficacy — all with the goal of improving the quality of life and health of individuals with food allergies and providing hope through the promise of new treatments.”
FARE’s “Food OIT in Practice” summit will be held in Houston prior to the annual meeting of the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology in November.
Food Allergy Research & Education (FARE) is the world’s leading food allergy advocacy organization and the largest private funder of food allergy research. Our mission is to improve the quality of life and the health of individuals with food allergies, and to provide them hope through the promise of new treatments. FARE is transforming the future of food allergy through innovative initiatives that will lead to increased awareness, new and improved treatments and prevention strategies, effective policies and legislation and novel approaches to managing the disease. For more information, please visit www.foodallergy.org. To join FARE’s transformative five-year fundraising and awareness campaign, Contains: Courage™, supporting families living with food allergies and educating ALL communities about the disease, visit www.foodallergy.org/containscourage.