Reaching a Future of Optimized Food Allergy Therapies


The first generation of food allergy treatments is nearing the market. What could be next is more individualized therapies.

As it currently stands, Edwin Kim, MD, MS, and Scott Commins, MD, PhD, could be discussing 2, 1, or no newly marketed therapies for food allergy this time next year.

The colleagues from the University of North Carolina School of Medicine, in their final segment of an interview series with MD Magazine® while at the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology (AAAAI) 2019 Annual Meeting in San Francisco, CA, discussed what the next year of allergy care might look like, pending the marketing applications of peanut desensitization drugs AR-101 and Viaskin Peanut.

In imagining what will headline the AAAAI 2020 meeting next winter, the pair pitched a scenario where their field was already improving on its most recent accomplishment.

MD Mag: What will be the next big development in food allergy care?

Commins: Well, I guess my initial thought might be finding the right patient for the right approach, but then also realizing that the right approach may be combinatorial.

Kim: I would absolutely agree with that. Once it's in the hands of allergists, I think we'll see how it ends up being implemented and, you know, could there be things like sequential combinations, or how will this all be used? And what will the real-world efficacy, compliance, and safety be? I think there would be a lot of attention around that.

In the presidential plenary, they really talked about some of these other therapies in the pipeline. And I wonder if there will be forward shift to those as well. “Okay, we got our first ‘treatment 1.0’ out there, but we know that we can continue to do better.”

I wonder if that would also be part of the theme of, “Look these new drugs that are out there too, and how do fit into the whole picture?”

Commins: I mean, you personally think a lot about augmenting some things, right? Can you take a lower-risk approach that you then augment in some way?

Kim: Yeah, I think that that would be great too. Because if you think about it, these treatments are so crude. I mean, we're essentially just kind of exposing them directly to what they're allergic to.

But anything we can do to prime the immune system to be better able to receive it, or better able to respond to it—and maybe even make it safer—would be outstanding as well. So yeah, I would anticipate seeing some more of that at the next meeting.

Commins: It would be great.

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