FARE Announces $3M in Funding Opportunities to Support Innovations in Food Allergy Diagnostics and Research on Rare Food Allergy
June 1, 2023 (McLean, VA) - FARE (Food Allergy Research & Education), the nation’s leading food allergy patient advocacy organization and the largest private funder of food allergy research, is transforming the food allergy landscape by offering two grant opportunities for researchers totalling $3 million. The laudable goal of these grants is to accelerate the pace of innovations to prevent, diagnose, and treat food allergies.
In one FARE Innovation Award Diagnostic Challenge Request for Applications (RFA), investigators and research teams are invited to compete for $2 million in grant funding to promote crucial innovations in the diagnosis of food allergy, a potentially life-threatening disease that affects more than 32 million Americans, including one in 13 children.
The second RFA offers $1 million in grant funding for basic research or clinical studies of a less common type of food allergy called food protein-induced enterocolitis syndrome, or FPIES. In the US, FPIES is estimated to affect one in every 5,000 children and one in every 2,000 adults.
“I am immensely proud to represent an organization doing so much to advance the cause of food allergy as a tier one disease,” said Sung Poblete, RN, PhD, CEO of FARE. “Making $3 million in funding available to the world’s best researchers in the search for an eventual cure for food allergy is both inspiring and life-changing. I encourage all investigators in the food allergy space and related fields to consider participation as we transform the future of food allergy.”
FARE Innovation Award Diagnostic Challenge
Launched in March 2021, the FARE Innovation Award Diagnostic Challenge is a global, collaborative, multi-million-dollar staged competition to develop and validate a safe, accurate, novel, and accessible diagnostic alternative to the oral food challenge (OFC), in which patients eat a food in gradually increasing amounts under medical supervision. The OFC is currently the most accurate method used to diagnose individuals with food allergy, although the method has several limitations including the time required to separately test individual allergies, the risk of serious food allergy reaction, and the potential impact on the mental health and anxiety of patients and their families. Development of an accurate, easy-to-use alternative to the OFC that can test for multiple food allergies will improve patient care and encourage broader research participation.
This second stage RFA invites proposals from teams who are new to the competition as well as those who submitted proposals during the Challenge’s first stage. The first stage concluded in October 2022 when a team led by Jean-Marc Busnel, PhD of Beckman Coulter Life Sciences was awarded $1 million for their proposed improvements to the basophil activation test, a blood-based food allergy diagnostic test currently employed in research settings. At the conclusion of the competition’s second stage, FARE will confer a $2 million (USD) cash prize to a group (or groups) whose assay or approach demonstrates strong potential utility for diagnosing food allergy and whose proposal offers a strong plan for clinical validation.
The FARE Innovation Award Diagnostic Challenge is made possible by its generous supporters, including the Naddisy Foundation, the Carter Family, Nestlé Health Science, the Trachte Family, the Hittman Family Foundation, Dr. Louise Matthews and Thomas Flickinger, Wende Fox Lawson and Jim Lawson, Stacy and Ron Klein, and an anonymous donor.
Food Protein-Induced Enterocolitis Syndrome (FPIES)
The second Request for Applications is for $1 million to expand our understanding of the processes that underlie food protein-induced enterocolitis syndrome, or FPIES, or to advance the development of new, effective FPIES treatments and prevention strategies. The mechanisms of FPIES are distinct from more common food allergies mediated by IgE antibodies, which often trigger skin and respiratory symptoms like redness, hives, and wheezing. In contrast, FPIES is mediated by cells within the immune system rather than by IgE antibodies and is associated primarily with delayed gastrointestinal symptoms that can be severe and cause dehydration, metabolic derangement, and shock.
At present, FPIES is not well-understood, and there are many unmet research needs that impact those living with FPIES and those caring for FPIES patients. FARE’s $1 million Request for Applications seeks to address key knowledge gaps and ultimately drive innovations in patient care.
The FPIES Innovation Summit and Request for Applications is made possible by the generosity and leadership of an anonymous donor.
Both Requests for Applications will be overseen by FARE’s new Scientific Advisory Council (SAC), an esteemed forum of subject matter experts who are working at the leading edge of diverse disciplines. They will review recent progress and identify innovative approaches that can be applied to food allergy investigations to help guide FARE’s future investments in clinical and preclinical research.
FARE (Food Allergy Research & Education) is the nation’s leading non-profit engaged in food allergy advocacy and the largest food allergy charity supporting research. FARE’s innovative education, advocacy and research initiatives transform the future of food allergy through new and improved treatments and prevention strategies, effective policies and legislation, and novel approaches to managing the disease. To learn more, visit: foodallergy.org.