First major milestone reached for Reacta Healthcare £1m Innovate UK funded project

Reacta Healthcare is helping combat food allergies amongst paediatrics, addressing the unmet need for greater research and clinical practice in children to prevent rising hospitalisations1, having finalised the initial formulation for milk challenge meals which can be used as Oral Food Challenges (OFCs) for diagnosis and monitoring of milk allergies in clinical trials.


The gold-standard for food allergy diagnostics is a Double-Blind, Placebo Controlled Oral Food Challenge. OFCs involve patients consuming incrementally increasing amounts of a suspect food allergen until a reaction occurs.


In a £935,936, 24-month project substantially funded by Innovate UK, the pharmaceutical company has completed the first stage of developing challenge meals for paediatric trial participants, from six months old.


Food allergy affects 3-6% of children in the developed world2. Not only is it resulting in rising hospital admissions and the risk of death from anaphylaxis, but also social exclusion, reduced quality of life, and financial repercussions (estimated at £2,489 a year).


While early clinical studies investigating new therapies in food allergy normally begin with adult subjects, many are now focusing on children. This is in response to growing evidence around food allergen introduction in early years, such as the 2015 Learning Early About Peanut Allergy (LEAP) study, which found that the early introduction of peanuts significantly increases long lasting peanut tolerance among children at high risk for this allergy3.


Dr Paul Abrahams, CEO of Reacta Healthcare, says: “When it comes to food allergies, we should look at how we can diagnose them early on in life to establish treatment and make it more manageable. Current non-pharmaceutical grade food challenges aren’t accurate nor safe enough for very young children.


“We’re delighted to be leading the way in developing a more advanced approach to food allergy diagnosis amongst children. The end goal is a future where people’s quality of life isn’t impacted by food allergies, and that should begin from childhood.”


The project is funded by Innovate UK, the UK’s innovation agency. Reacta Healthcare was awarded a Biomedical Catalyst Grants that support health and life sciences SMEs in developing innovative solutions to healthcare challenges. During the course of the project, Reacta Healthcare will develop paediatric challenge meals not only to test for milk allergies but peanut and eggs too.,from%201%2C015%20admissions%20to%201%2C746.