New Products to Prevent and Treat Food Allergies

It is currently not possible to prevent or treat food allergies. However, a new project aims at improving quality of life for allergy sufferers by developing new prevention and treatment methods. Innovation Fund Denmark has contributed more than 2 million euros to the project which is led by the National Food Institute, Technical University of Denmark.

allergies

Food allergy is a growing problem worldwide and so far there are no accepted methods to prevent or treat this disease. For millions of people suffering from food allergies a diet free of the offending foods is currently the only way of avoiding a serious – and in worst cases deadly – allergic reaction.

Our goal is to use a new patented strategy to prevent and treat food allergies, which can overcome the limitations of current methods by being effective but without risk. The products we will develop can improve the lives of children at risk of developing cow’s milk allergy and patients with a peanut allergy.”

The ALLEVIATE project will develop infant formula ingredients for prevention of cow’s milk allergy and a drug candidate for treatment of peanut allergy.

“Our goal is to use a new patented strategy to prevent and treat food allergies, which can overcome the limitations of current methods by being effective but without risk. The products we will develop can improve the lives of children at risk of developing cow’s milk allergy and patients with a peanut allergy,” Project Manager and Senior Researcher Katrine Lindholm Bøgh from the National Food Institute says.

There is a big market potential for both product types. The untapped market for products to treat peanut allergy alone is estimated at more than four billion euros. By manufacturing the products in Denmark, more jobs would be created both in the dairy industry and within research and development in the biotech sector.

The cornerstone of the project is the new strategy for prevention and treatment of food allergies, which has been developed at the National Food Institute.

Facts about the project
  • Innovation Fund Denmark investment: 2.2 million euros
  • Total budget: 3.5 million euros
  • Duration: Four years
  • Official title: ALLEVIATE – A novel strategy for food allergy prevention and treatment.

Social benefit

Worldwide 2.5% of children develop cow’s milk allergy within their first three years of life. Fortunately, most children outgrow their cow’s milk allergy. As such it is estimated that approximately 0.3% of the world’s adult population has this type of allergy.

On the other hand, peanut allergy is a persistent disease and approximately 1% of the US population suffers from peanut allergy. The figure is much lower in Denmark.

The ALLEVIATE project will seek to improve the lives of people who struggle with either a cow’s milk allergy or peanut allergy. For example, peanut allergy can cause upset stomach, vomiting and–at worst–anaphylactic shock, which is potentially life threatening.

Furthermore reducing the number of allergy cases would save the world’s healthcare systems money.

Finally, the development of products targeted at preventing or treating allergies would create new jobs.