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"With Life-threatening Food Allergies On The Rise, Drug Companies Ramp Up New Approaches" - Meg Tirrell

  • CNBC
  • New York, NY
  • (September 27, 2018)

The prevalence of food allergies has increased by 70 percent in U.S. kids younger than 18 between 1997 and 2016. Researchers cite a handful of potential contributors for the rise in allergies: parents' reluctance to introduce foods like peanuts too early; the "hygiene hypothesis," the idea that we're so clean that our immune systems have too little to do and thus overreact to innocuous stimuli; and that our microbiomes, or gut bacteria, may be out of whack. "We don't quite have the answer yet," said Dr. Julie Wang, professor of pediatrics at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. "Those are areas of active investigation." Movements have been made towards building a tolerance to areas of allergy, so that accidental exposure won’t have dire consequences. Drug companies are creating medications that help develop antibodies that are specific for allergens, so that we can prevent them from even initiating a response.

- Julie Wang, MD, Professor, Pediatrics, Pediatric Allergy and Immunology, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, The Mount Sinai Hospital

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