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Notre Dame researchers working to eliminate allergic reactions with new inhibitor

NOW: Notre Dame researchers working to eliminate allergic reactions with new inhibitor

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NOTRE DAME, Ind. -- The slightest traces of an allergen could trigger a wide range of reactions from a rash to an anaphylactic shock for the millions of children and adults impact by allergies.

However, researchers at Notre Dame say in a new study, they found a way to prevent allergic reactions.

Basar Bilgicer, an associate professor at Notre Dame, led the study.

He says an allergic reaction happens when an allergen binds to an antibody, called an IgE, on a person’s immune cells.

Bilgicer says his team created a molecule, called covalent heterobivalent inhibitor, that blocks the allergen and IgE from attaching.

Bilgicer tested the inhibitor on 16 people with a severe peanut allergy. It prevented an allergic reaction in up to 90 percent of the cases.

Bilgicer thinks this could be developed into a monthly medication for people with allergies. He says this is not a cure for a person’s allergies, but says as long as the person takes the medication on a regular basis, he or she could be protected against allergic reactions.

“There are no preventative measures, medications available right now,” said Biglicer. “That’s why it’s important to develop something that will provide or help answer this need for patients so that they can have that peace of mind and not be worried for their lives whenever they are flying on a place or when they go to a party at a friend’s house.”

Bilgicer says this would not impact other parts of a person’s immune system.

“Allergies particularly food allergies is a type of deadly disease. It kills people in the U.S. and other countries,” said Bilgicer. “What we hope to do is provide that that ease of mind.”

To read more about the study click here.

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