An advisory committee for the Food and Drug Administration voted Friday to recommend a peanut allergy treatment for FDA approval.
The drug, called Palforzia, would be the first FDA-approved drug for treating food allergies.
Palforzia is a type of oral immunotherapy. The treatment involves exposing children with peanut allergies to increasing doses of peanut protein, in order to build up tolerance over time. The goal of the treatment is not to get rid of a peanut allergy entirely, but to reduce a person’s risk of severe reactions in case of accidental exposures.
The vote from advisory committee does not mean the drug is approved, however most drugs recommended by advisory committee do go on to win FDA approval. The FDA will make its decision in the coming months.
“From a science standpoint, this is a breakthrough,” said Dr. Bruce Lanser, a pediatric allergist and immunologist and director of the pediatric food allergy program at National Jewish Health in Denver. Lanser ran one arm of the clinical trials on the treatment.
Erin Sorce, of Denver, agreed. Her 13-year-old son Colton participated in a clinical trial for separate but similar peanut allergy treatment.
“I feel like this would be revolutionary,” Sorce said. “The thought of kids having access to something like that brings tears to my eyes.”