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SEATTLE — (Nov. 19, 2018) — Virginia Mason served as a clinical trial site for a new oral medication that some officials say could be a game changer for children and adolescents who are allergic to peanuts.

Results of the clinical trial have been published by The New England Journal of Medicine.

The clinical research program at Virginia Mason, in which Virginia Mason Medical Center physicians and Benaroya Research Institute (BRI) scientists collaborate, was one of 66 study sites in 10 countries in North America and Europe. It is believed to have been the largest study of a peanut allergy oral therapy to date, with a total of 496 participants who were between the ages of 4 and 17.

Peanut allergy is one of the most common food allergies in the United States, according to the American College of Asthma, Allergy & Immunology. Although more than 1.6 million children and teenagers have peanut allergy, there is currently no approved treatment. The standard of care is a strict peanut-free diet and timely administration of rescue medications when allergic reactions occur. The new medication, for which Virginia Mason was a clinical trial site, has the potential to change this, supporters say.

Aimmune Therapeutics, the drug manufacturer and clinical trial sponsor, believes the medication could significantly reduce the frequency and severity of allergic reactions to peanuts. In December, the company plans to file for approval of the prescription drug by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The medication could be available for use in the second half of 2019, the company said.

Benaroya Research Institute at Virginia Mason is an international leader in researching causes of and potential cures for diseases of the immune system, such as allergy and autoimmune disease.

About Virginia Mason Health System
Virginia Mason, founded in 1920, is a nonprofit regional health care system based in Seattle that serves the Pacific Northwest. In the Puget Sound region, the system includes 336-bed Virginia Mason Hospital; a primary and specialty care group practice of more than 500 physicians; outpatient medical facilities and services in Seattle, Bainbridge Island, Bellevue, Edmonds, Federal Way, Kirkland, Issaquah and Lynnwood; Bailey-Boushay House, the first skilled-nursing and outpatient chronic care management program in the United States designed specifically to meet the needs of people with HIV/AIDS; Benaroya Research Institute, which is internationally recognized for autoimmune disease research; Virginia Mason Foundation; and Virginia Mason Institute, which trains health care professionals and others around the world in the Virginia Mason Production System, an innovative management method for improving quality and safety.

Virginia Mason Health System also includes Virginia Mason Memorial, a 226-bed hospital serving Yakima Valley in central Washington since 1950. Virginia Mason Memorial includes primary care practices and specialty care services, including high-quality cardiac care; cancer care through North Star Lodge; breast health at `Ohana Mammography Center; acute hospice and respite care at Cottage in the Meadow; pain management at Water’s Edge; an advanced NICU unit that offers specialty care for at-risk infants; advanced services for children with special health care needs at Children’s Village; and The Memorial Foundation.

Media Contact:
Gale Robinette
Media Relations
Manager Virginia Mason Health System
(206) 341-1509

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