Having allergies to many foods may make using a newly approved drug practical, Elizabeth Tracey reports


The FDA has just approved a drug called omalizumab used to treat asthma to treat multiple, severe food allergy. Robert Wood, an allergy expert at Johns Hopkins and principal investigator on the study that demonstrated the drug’s efficacy, says the scope of approval is fairly broad.

 Wood: So approved from age one through adulthood. There are a number of factors that may make one family more or less interested in doing this. The first of those is truly having multiple severe food allergies. Within that is actually being allergic to things that are really a lot harder to avoid them peanuts. Peanut avoidance is relatively straightforward, people understand peanut allergy, whereas things like milk and egg and wheat are far harder to avoid so families who are dealing with those allergies can be far more severe than the worst peanut allergy.  :30

The drug requires injection every two to four weeks indefinitely to keep food allergies at bay. Wood says because some people may have an allergic reaction to the injection the first few must be done in a medical facility, but then may be done at home. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.