Aimmune fails to convince investors with peanut allergy treatment

The prestigious New England Journal of Medicine has published today results from the Phase III PALISADE clinical trial, aimed at assessing the new oral immunotherapy AR101, developed by biotech Aimmune Therapeutics, in desensitizing children with peanut allergies.

The results have demonstrated that as many as two thirds of the 500 patients treated with AR101 have been desensitized and can now eat 3 or 4 peanuts after a one-year-treatment. The positive results have encouraged the Brisbane, California-based company’s management to schedule a FDA application as early as next month, and an EMA application next year.

The business of food allergy treatments is expected to exponentially grow in the next years, reaching $4.5bn by 2027, analysts say.

Despite this, Aimmune Therapeutics’ shares decreased by over 11% as the report was issued, probably because some negative side effects were reported during the trial, causing a high number of patients to interrupt the trial and stop taking the treatment.

However, the company’s management is extremely positive about the biotech’s future, one of the reasons is that Aimmune already has therapeutic solutions to two other very common food allergies–to eggs and walnuts.

Importantly, Aimmune’s main shareholders include the food multinational Nestlè, which invested $145 in equities in 2016 and now owns 15% of its shares.

(Source: FT)