Imagine constantly worrying that something you eat is going to cause your throat to swell shut or your heart to stop beating. That’s the reality people with severe peanut allergies must live with every day, because their bodies launch out-of-control immune responses against even a trace of peanut protein.
But now, relief may be on the horizon. A phase 3 clinical trial by pharmaceutical company Aimmune Therapeutics shows that gradual and methodical exposure to purified peanut protein can train the body to drastically tone down the reaction. After one year of daily treatment with the company’s peanut protein-filled capsules, currently called AR101, study participants could safely tolerate 30 times more allergen than they could before the trial began.