By Kelley Lindberg
|Dr. Fred Finkelman|
(photo courtesy of FARE)
FARE (Food Allergy Research and Education) is reporting today that they’re awarding a $734,986 research grant to leading immunologist Fred Finkelman, M.D., at the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine/Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, in his efforts to suppress anaphylaxis. Dr. Finkelman is developing a therapy that may be able to desensitize a patient to ALL of their food allergies at the same time, and potentially in as short a time period as 24 hours.
With this therapy, a patient would probably be injected with a unique antibody that Finkelman and his team have developed in their lab. The antibody would then target mast cells and remove the IgE and IgE receptors on those mast cells, which are responsible for releasing the chemicals that cause the symptoms of an allergic reaction. In a previous study, Dr. Finkelman injected mice with this antibody, and the treatment prevented anaphylaxis.
In plain English, this means that after being injected with this new antibody, the patient’s body will stop reacting to food allergens!
Right now, Dr. Finkelman and his team are still working with mice, so human trials are still years away. And their therapy in mice has taken weeks to build up a resistance, so they are hoping to shorten that timeframe significantly with their future study. Dr. Finkelman emphasizes that his process would not cure allergies, but would suppress allergies. He believes it has the potential to suppress food allergies, skin allergies, and even asthma and environmental allergies (hay fever). But this is the type of therapy that so many of us are desperately hoping for, so I am thrilled and grateful to FARE for supporting Dr. Finkelman’s research with this significant grant.
To read more about this grant and Dr. Finkelman’s work, check out these links:
- “New Study Aims for Quick Suppression of Food Allergies”
- “A Conversation with FARE Grant Recipient Fred Finkelman,MD”
- “Suppressing Food Allergies Quickly Is the Goal of UC Research Team”