Can food allergies be overcome by feeding foods people are allergic to? Elizabeth Tracey reports


A drug called omalizumab has just been approved to treat severe food allergies. Robert Wood, Johns Hopkins allergy expert and principal investigator on a study proving the efficacy of this drug, says it’s needed because the strategy of feeding increasing amounts of foods people are allergic to often doesn’t work.

Wood: There are lots of allergen specific treatments that are under investigation. One is FDA approved but that's for the whole world of food allergy there's only one approved product, and that's specific for peanut allergy. And the reality is that we see very few patients that only have one allergy. There's a few reasons why the uptake of this treatment for peanut allergy has been very slow. One of the major ones is that if you're allergic to seven different things treating one of them may not be that valuable.  :28

Wood says omalizumab is helpful for the majority of people with severe, multiple allergies to foods as well as inhaled allergens. He notes that while the drug has been around for some time there is no generic version and it is not easy to manufacture.  At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.