Patients and Scientists Come Together at Sixth Annual Research Retreat Hosted by Food Allergy Research & Education
Food allergy experts and advocates share progress reports and research priorities
McLEAN, Va. (April 16, 2018) – National and international food allergy researchers gathered this weekend for the Sixth Annual Research Retreat sponsored by Food Allergy Research & Education (FARE). Leading academics, clinicians, representatives from the pharmaceutical industry, government officials and patient advocates attended the event, which seeks to foster scientific collaboration while giving individuals and families managing life-threatening food allergies a forum to voice patient perspectives directly to the researchers who design clinical trials.
FARE, the world’s largest private funder of food allergy research, is dedicated to improving the quality of life and the health of individuals with food allergies and to provide them hope through the promise of new treatments. FARE’s Research Retreat, held April 13-14 outside Washington, D.C., drew the top researchers in the country who are seeking to understand and treat this serious public health issue. Food allergies have reached epidemic levels in recent years, with emergency care for severe food allergy reactions up nearly 400 percent during the past decade. There is currently no approved treatment to prevent or limit food allergy reactions.
For the second year, the Research Retreat’s 130 attendees heard from members of FARE’s Outcomes Research Advisory Board, which includes adults with food allergy, parents of children with food allergy, health care providers, counselors, educators and industry representatives. Members of the advisory board have been working since 2016 to identify and communicate patient priorities in food allergy diagnosis, treatment and management, as well as food labeling. The board’s presentation addressed psychological and social issues that affect quality of life for patients and their families, such as stress, anxiety and bullying.
Also giving updates were researchers from pharmaceutical companies reporting on advances in drug development. Two immunotherapies for peanut allergy have recently completed Phase III clinical trials and are being submitted to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for approval. Both treatments use exposure to peanut protein to increase the dose that peanut-allergic patients can tolerate. Findings on the development and testing of next-generation biologic drugs were also presented.
“Everyone came away from this year’s Research Retreat inspired by what they had learned,” said James R. Baker, Jr., MD, CEO and chief medical officer of FARE. “The clinicians and scientists heard firsthand about the impact their work can make for the patients and families they’re trying to help, and the patients were able to see how far we’ve come in developing new treatments for food allergy, with the first approved products expected to reach the market next year. This exchange can improve our current efforts to serve the food allergy community and inform our future directions in research.”
Other food allergy researchers who spoke at the retreat included recipients of FARE Investigator in Food Allergy awards. Since 2015, FARE has invested more than $3.5 million through this competitive grants funding program to attract exceptional young scientists to the field of food allergy and encourage established researchers to pursue innovative food allergy studies.
For more information about food allergy research, visit www.foodallergy.org.
Food Allergy Research & Education (FARE) works on behalf of the 15 million Americans with food allergies, including all those at risk for life-threatening anaphylaxis. This potentially deadly disease affects 1 in every 13 children in the U.S. – or roughly two in every classroom. FARE’s mission is to improve the quality of life and the health of individuals with food allergies, and to provide them hope through the promise of new treatments. Our work is organized around three core tenets: LIFE – support the ability of individuals with food allergies to live safe, productive lives with the respect of others through our education and advocacy initiatives; HEALTH – enhance the healthcare access of individuals with food allergies to state-of-the-art diagnosis and treatment; and HOPE – encourage and fund research in both industry and academia that promises new therapies to improve the allergic condition. For more information, please visit www.foodallergy.org and find us on Twitter@FoodAllergy, Facebook, YouTube and Pinterest.