Reacta Healthcare Awarded Major Biomedical Catalyst Grant to develop Paediatric Food allergy diagnostics

The £1 million grant will support the development of the first Oral Food Challenges (OFCs) for paediatric patients to diagnose peanut, milk, and egg allergies.

Food allergy (FA) prevalence and hospitalisations are rising, especially in young children. Families face death from anaphylaxis, social exclusion, reduced quality-of-life (QoL), and out-of-pocket costs >£2489/year. A coming wave of new treatments promises to revolutionise FA, stimulating strong demand for partner diagnostics and driving the paediatric FA diagnostics market at 111% CAGR to reach £1.9Bn by 2029.

Today’s gold-standard Food allergy diagnostic is the OFC where patients consume incrementally increasing amounts of suspect food until a mild reaction versus an indistinguishable low/zero-dose control. However, current non-pharmaceutical grade food challenges are unblinded, inaccurate, poorly scalable, and unsafe especially in the very young children.

The awarding of the Biomedical Catalyst Grant with enable Reacta to extend its pharma grade product portfolio in the development of OFC’s to peanut, egg and milk for use in young patients aged 6 months and upwards.

Our robust, scalable, standardised OFCs already delivers superior safety, diagnostic accuracy, in older children and adults. From these, the new paediatric formulations will be developed and will incorporate unique texturisers, aroma and flavour agents tailored to very young children, develop advanced analytics including extraction buffers, antibody probes, and bioanalytical methods to track allergens, and integrate prototypes into cGMP production.

About the Biomedical Catalyst

The Biomedical Catalyst (BMC) is a unique partnership between the Medical Research Council and Innovate UK, providing responsive and effective support to the most innovative life sciences opportunities regardless of scientific approach. The BMC aims to de-risk innovative science and commercialise ideas arising out of academia and industry helping UK SMEs to develop into competitive and sustainable organisations. This accelerates the progress of novel products to market, facilitates onward investment and bridges “the valley of death.”

Innovate UK

Innovate UK is part of UK Research and Innovation, a non-departmental public body funded by a grant-in-aid from the UK government. Innovate UK drives productivity and economic growth by supporting businesses to develop and realise the potential of new ideas, including those from the UK’s world-class research base. They connect businesses to the partners, customers and investors that can help them turn these ideas into commercially successful products and services, and business growth.