The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved the first drug to treat peanut allergies in children and teens.
Treatment with the drug, Palforzia, can be used for children between 4 and 17 years old with a confirmed diagnosis of peanut allergy, the FDA said in a statement.
The drug is designed to minimize the incidence and severity of a child’s allergic reaction to peanuts, as even a small amount of exposure can be harmful to children with the allergy.
“When used in conjunction with peanut avoidance, Palforzia provides an FDA-approved treatment option to help reduce the risk of these allergic reactions in children with peanut allergy,” said Peter Marks, director of the FDA’s Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research.
Peanut allergy affects approximately one million children in the US and only one out of five of these children will outgrow their allergy.
Palforzia is a powder manufactured from peanuts and packaged in pull-apart capsules and a sachet, according to the FDA.
The powder is emptied from the capsules or sachet and mixed with a small amount of semisolid food — such as applesauce, yogurt, or pudding.
The effectiveness of Palforzia is supported by a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study conducted in the US, Canada, and Europe in approximately 500 peanut-allergic individuals.