FDA Approves New Drug That Can Treat Severe Food Allergies

WHITE OAK, MD - JULY 20: A sign for the Food And Drug Administration is seen outside of the headquarters on July 20, 2020 in White Oak, Maryland. (Photo by Sarah Silbiger/Getty Images)
(Photo by Sarah Silbiger/Getty Images)

OAN’s James Meyers
3:28 PM – Monday, February 19, 2024

People with severe food allergies may soon have the chance to eat any food item of their choice without the same repercussions as before.  


The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced on Friday that they have green-lit a new drug called “Xolair” that is said to help greatly reduce severe allergic reactions to various types of foods in adults and children over the age of 1. 

However, the approved medication is not meant to be used during an allergic reaction, instead, the new approved drug should “be administered repeatedly every two to four weeks to reduce the risk of future reactions over time,” The Post reported.

“While it will not eliminate food allergies or allow patients to consume food allergens freely, its repeated use will help reduce the health impact if accidental exposure occurs,” said Kelly Stone with the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research.

Meanwhile, some of the negative side effects of the drug include a contracted fever and it can even trigger anaphylaxis in some cases.

Additionally, the cost of the medication ranges from $2,900 a month for children and $5,000 a month for adults, but the costs “could be less with medical insurance,” according to the Associated Press

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), as of 2021, close to 1 in 16 adults in the United States have a food allergy. Currently, there is no cure for food allergies. 

Meanwhile, Xolair has already been approved by the FDA to treat cases of asthma caused by allergies, chronic hives, and chronic inflammatory sinus disease. 

A study that was sponsored by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases discovered that Xolair had successfully helped some study participants tolerate certain foods. The study consisted of 168 testers, which showed some patients as young as 1-year-old, being able to withstand small amounts of peanuts, milk, eggs and cashews without an allergic reaction after being treated with the new drug.

“Xolair offers patients and families an important new treatment option that can help redefine the way food allergies are managed and reduce the often-serious allergic reactions that can result from exposure to food allergens,” Levi Garraway, M.D., Ph.D., Genentech’s chief medical officer and head of Global Product Development, said in a statement.

“Today’s approval builds on 20 years of patient experience and an established efficacy and safety profile since Xolair was first approved in allergic asthma. We look forward to bringing this treatment to the food allergy community who have long awaited an advancement.”

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