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From 22-24 May 2024, the co-founders of Immunity Group Australia, Dr. Douglas Jones (MD) and Dr. Nina Markovic Khaze (PhD), visited the United Kingdom to exchange ideas and foster collaboration with prominent British allergy specialists from Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children and Imperial College London. Additionally, ImGA connected with representatives from the food allergy community in London, including the Sadie Bristow Foundation – which aims to improve allergy services & education, the Benedict Blythe Foundation – which offers excellent allergy & education resources, and the Natasha Allergy Research Foundation (NARF).

The NARF secured funding for the Natasha Clinical Trial, the UK’s largest clinical trial in British hospitals concerning the use of oral immunotherapy for food allergies, without biologics. Nadim Ednan-Laperouse, co-founder of the Natasha Allergy Research Foundation suggested that “doctors say they are already seeing children on the trial who are able to tolerate the foods which previously would have triggered a severe allergic reaction.” This correlates with experiences from the U.S., including from Dr. Jones’s world-renowned OIT centre in Utah, where thousands of patients over the past decade achieved what is known as a “remission” or a state of desensitisation from life-threatening food allergies using microdosing with commercially available foods administered under medical supervision in private U.S. clinics. Generally, upon exiting the program, the idea is for the participants to continue to consume the same commercially available foods daily, and under a specific protocol, in order to maintain the desensitised state indefinitely. Anxiety and age-related food aversion can be an obstacle to the success in such programs, according to a recently published international research study which Dr. Jones also co-authored.

Nadim Ednan-Laperouse commented for The Grocer: “Offering the treatment more widely would be a huge step forward for people with food allergies and their families. The results from the £2.5m trial confirm what we always thought: that pharma does not hold all the answers to solving major health issues.”

Professor S Hasan Arshad (Chair in Allergy and Clinical Immunology, Clinical and Experimental Sciences, University of Southampton and Director, The David Hide Asthma and Allergy Research Centre, Isle of Wight) who is leading the trial at the University Hospital Southampton said in an interview with ImGA that there are ~140 trial participants (out of planned more than 200 participants) within the age range of 2 and 23 who are currently in the trial for peanut and milk allergies. “As the study is unblinded we see very positive outcomes in study participants”, Professor Arshad said.

According to a recently published BBC article: “Sibel Sonmez-Ajtai, paediatric allergy consultant and principal investigator at Sheffield Children’s NHS Foundation Trust, said: “This study is enabling us to do something we would never have dreamed of doing before – giving patients the foods we know they are allergic to. This treatment is not a cure for a food allergy, but what it achieves is life-transforming. “To have a patient who has had anaphylaxis to 4mls of milk to then tolerate 90mls within six to eight months is nothing less than a miracle.”

ImGA also held discussions with trail-brazing entrepreneurs from the food allergy community – Zak Marks and James Cohen and their team from Kitt Medical, learning about their life-saving invention that has been introduced in over 300 English schools. ImGA also met with Liljia Polo-Richards – Director of Allergy Companions, who is an expert in hospitality and food safety, and food allergy parent-advocate and film maker Sabine Klaus-Carter – Director of, along with other individuals advocating for food safety, food equity, education and broader availability of oral immunotherapy for food allergies across the UK.