Girl, 9, first to be given life-changing peanut allergy treatment now available in England


Children who suffer from peanut allergies will become the first in Europe get a supply of Palforzia, which helps to reduce the severity of symptoms including anaphylaxis after a reaction to peanuts.

Emily Pratt, nine, who took part in a peanut allergy trial
Emily Pratt, nine, who took part in a peanut allergy trial

Children in England with peanut allergies will become the first in Europe to receive life-changing treatment after a deal was secured for a new drug.

NHS England has secured a supply for Palforzia, an oral treatment, which helps to reduce the severity of symptoms including anaphylaxis after a reaction to peanuts.

Evelina London Children’s Hospital took part in two large peanut allergy trials – the Palisade and Artemis studies.

The family of a nine-year-old girl who took part in the trial say their lives have been changed since she took part in the Palisade trial.

Emily Pratt sufferers from an extreme peanut allergy, and her parents were beside themselves with worry every time she would eat out or try to go abroad.

Emily Pratt sufferers from an extreme peanut allergy, and her parents were beside themselves with worry every time she would eat out or try to go abroad
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Now they can breathe a sigh of relief
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Her mum Sophie said: “Being on the clinical trial has changed our whole family’s lives. The treatment we received has meant thatEmily is free from limits and the fear that the tiniest mistake could put her life at risk, and it has removed all the tension and worry that the simple act of eating loomed over us every day.

“It was particularly noticeable at special occasions like birthdays, Christmas and on holidays where there are often special foods like cakes, ice cream and treats that invariable had warnings, ‘may contain peanuts’ or menus not in English.

Emily would be at risk at every birthday party in case she ate any peanuts
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Emily Pratt, with her mother Sophie, father James and brother Toby
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“Since the trial, Emily can go to parties and playdates with confidence, eat in restaurants without us having to call ahead to check the menu, and we’ve managed to have her first holiday abroad to New York and even taken part in feeding animals at zoo experiences – which is Emily’s passion.

“We could not be more grateful.”

The Artemis study found that around six in 10 four to 17-year-olds who reacted to around 10g of peanut protein at the start of the trial were able to take a dose of 1,000mg of it by the end, which is well above the amount of accidental exposure.

Up to 600 children aged four to 17 are expected to be treated this year, with those in England to be the first treated in Europe, because of a deal struck by the NHS. Some 2,000 a year after that will be treated.

Emily Pratt, with her mother Sophie, father James and brother Toby
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Currently, peanut allergies affect one in 50 children in the UK.

NHS medical director, Professor Stephen Powis, said: “This pioneering treatment can be life-changing for patients and their families and, thanks to the deal the NHS has struck, people here will be the first in Europe to benefit.

“It will reduce the fear and anxiety for patients and their families who may have been living with this allergy for years, and carrying around emergency medication just in case.

“They should be able to enjoy meals out or holidays abroad together without worrying about an allergic reaction that could land them in hospital or worse.”

Professor George du Toit, children’s allergy consultant at Evelina London, was senior investigator for the UK for both of the trials.

He said: “This is great news for children and young people with peanut allergies. The approval of Palforzia represents a significant step forward towards improving the care for allergy sufferers, and we will now have access to the first treatment licensed to reduce the severity of this allergy and to protect against accidental exposure to peanuts.

“This will make a huge impact to the every day lives of our patients and their families.”

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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