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Herbal Formula Could Protect Against Peanut & Other Food Allergies – In Trials Now at Mount Sinai

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Herbal Formula Could Protect Against Peanut & Other Food Allergies - In Trials Now at Mount Sinai
“Our formula can block allergic reactions to food, and we’re finding that the dose can last six months tested in animal model.”Xiu-Min Li, MD

A new study finds that a botanical drug could provide the key to new treatments for peanut allergies. The findings were published in the Feb 2009 issue of The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology.* Lead author Dr. Xiu-Min Li, MD, Associate Professor of Pediatrics and Director of Center for Chinese Herbal Therapy for Allergy and Asthma at Mount Sinai School of Medicine and colleagues found Food Allergy Herbal Formula (FAHF-2) produced long-term protection following treatment against peanut-induced anaphylaxis in mice.

FAHF-2 treatment protected peanut allergic mice from anaphylaxis for more than 36 weeks after treatment was discontinued. This is one-quarter of the mouse lifespan. These findings update previous research done by Dr. Li and her colleagues, where the same drug was shown to be effective for preventing anaphylactic reactions for up to four weeks following treatment.

“Food allergy is a serious and sometimes fatal condition for which there is no cure,” said Dr. Li. “Approximately 80% of fatal or near-fatal anaphylaxis cases are due to peanut allergy in this country. There is an urgent need for effective therapies to prevent and treat those who suffer from food allergies [about 8% of all children and 3%-4% of adults] and FAHF-2 could prove to be a major advancement in this field.”

Now in Human Trials, with FDA Go-Ahead

FAHF-2 has received investigational new drug approval of the Food and Drug Administration, and currently human clinical trials are being conducted at Mount Sinai to evaluate the safety and early efficacy of FAHF-2 on multiple food allergies including peanut, tree nut, fish and shellfish.

“This study reinforces previous studies showing that this botanical drug has the potential to be developed into the first available and effective treatment for patients with peanut allergies and other food allergies,” said study co-author Hugh Sampson, MD, Professor of Pediatrics at Mount Sinai School of Medicine. Dr. Sampson is also Director of the Jaffe Food Allergy Institute and Dean for Translational Biomedical Science at The Mount Sinai Medical Center.
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Source: Mount Sinai Medical Center news release Feb 9, 2009

* Article: “Food Allergy Herbal Formula-2 silences peanut-induced anaphylaxis for a prolonged posttreatment period via IFN-?–producing CD8+ T cells,” Kamal D Srivastava, Xiu-Min Li, et al. Department of Pediatrics, Jaffe Food Allergy Institute, and Department of Pharmacology and Systems Therapeutics, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, New York, USA. [E-mail:
xiu-min.li@mssm.edu]

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