Mount Sinai receives grant from NIH to continue research on food allergy

Mount Sinai School of Medicine today announced that the National Institutes of Health (NIH) has renewed its funding of the Consortium of Food Allergy Research (CoFAR), providing an additional $29.9 million toward genetic research and the prevention and treatment of food allergy. Mount Sinai is the primary research site for CoFAR, leading seven other institutions around the country.

Under the renewed grant, Mount Sinai researchers will continue several clinical trials evaluating immunotherapies for peanut and egg allergy. In two of the studies, researchers are determining whether an extract of peanut protein under the tongue or ingesting increasing amounts of egg protein improves tolerance. In another trial, researchers administer gradually increased doses of peanut protein to patients in a suppository to treat the allergy. The Mount Sinai team will also initiate a new trial studying the use of a peanut protein patch applied to the skin to treat peanut allergy. CoFAR is also conducting an observational study that has enrolled more than 500 infants to determine what factors worsen or improve their allergies.

"We are excited about the progress we have made in understanding food allergy in children over the last five years," said Hugh Sampson, MD, Professor, Pediatrics, Chief, Division of Allergy & Immunology, Director of the Jaffe Food Allergy Institute, Mount Sinai School of Medicine and lead investigator on CoFAR. "With the renewal of this grant, we will expand our research and hopefully move closer toward ending the widespread impact of food allergy."

The grant will also fund new genetic research on eosinophilic gastrointestinal diseases (EGIDs), a new group of allergic diseases. According to the NIH, the most common EGID is eosinophilic esophagitis. The main symptoms in children include nausea, vomiting, and abdominal pain after eating. Three new CoFAR trial sites at Cincinnati Children's Medical Center Hospital, University of Colorado at Denver, and Children's Hospital of Philadelphia will conduct the research.

Source: The Mount Sinai Hospital / Mount Sinai School of Medicine

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