Texas Tech professors to develop peanut allergy immunotherapy - FOX34 Lubbock

Texas Tech professors to develop peanut allergy immunotherapy

LUBBOCK, Texas -

Peanut allergies can be life threatening for millions of Americans. Now, Texas Tech researchers think they can immunize you against it. Professor Harvinder Gill is trying to do something unprecedented. 

"Presently there is no treatment for peanut allergies, or for any other allergies. I think if we are successful we will be able to make a good impact on the life of patients and moms and dads and relatives of those patients," Gill said. 

Since these allergies can have life-threatening reactions, Gill says administering the treatment needs to be done carefully. His team's plan involves microneedles. 

"These are solid micro projections, really tiny, so you don't feel the pain. Once the coating is dry you can insert the microneedle into the grid. The moisture in the skin helps dissolve the coating," Gill said. 

Ideally, the treatment will include the placement of the needle on the arm for three to five minutes weekly, however the treatment depends on the severity of the patients allergy. 

"Microneedles have never been used for treatment, not just for peanut allergies, but for any allergies. We have a different grant we will be using to treat microneedles for respiratory allergies as well and this is for peanut allergies."

Gill is optimistic about his research.

"I think our preclinical data in animals is very encouraging. We have shown the treatment in preclinical studies is working. When we say working, it means it is not optimized so you still need to do that with additional parameters. We are very confident that it should work," Gill said. 

Gill says the hope is after five years to get FDA approval and clinical trials. 

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