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PostPosted: Thu Aug 31, 2017 2:52 pm 
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Joined: Thu Dec 20, 2007 7:23 pm
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Location: Kingston
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Bilgicer’s method aims to deliver the same clarity as the oral food challenge, but without the danger, because the test is conducted outside of the body using only a blood sample from the patient. Bilgicer says there are 40 to 50 smaller molecular components in a peanut that can cause an allergic response. His team designed nanoparticles—dubbed “nanoallergens”—that mimic those many components.

“When you give a peanut, you’re basically giving all of those components to the patient at once, so you don’t really know which one is the culprit—the one responsible for the [allergic] response,” says Bilgicer. “With our nanoallergens, we’re dissecting these individual components [within a peanut] and presenting them one at a time [to the patient’s blood sample]—rather than giving the whole mixture—to identify, for a given patient, which one of the components is critical. That helps us achieve a much more accurate diagnosis of the extent of the condition for that patient.”

Bilgicer has developed the test with peanuts, because the allergen has been widely studied, but he says the platform could be applied to any food allergy—eliminating the fear patients experience, because they don’t know where their allergy lies on the spectrum of severity.

“The test will show that perhaps [the patient] doesn’t really have a serious condition—they’ll just get a rash—but they don’t have to worry about their life if they were exposed to a peanut. That’s a relief,” says Bilgicer. “Or, they’re potentially going to go into serious anaphylactic shock that could endanger their life, so they know they really need to be careful about avoiding the allergen.”

His strategy to pinpoint the exact component in a peanut that triggers the allergic response also reveals what would need to be inhibited, or suppressed, in each patient to treat the allergy with a drug—preventing the allergic response from occurring at all. In actuality, Bilgicer’s work to develop such a drug is what led to the idea for the allergy test, which will likely be commercialized prior to the drug.

Bilgicer’s team has tested the allergy diagnostic tool with human samples and is working to ramp up that effort, in collaboration with the Indiana University School of Medicine, to verify the clinical data and move toward submitting the method to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Already backed by funding from the National Institutes of Health, Bilgicer aims to raise about $500,000 more to complete early stage development.

In the next one or two years, Bilgicer envisions a business that would deliver the test in “kit” form; doctors could conduct the evaluation on-site in the clinic or send the blood sample to a centralized testing center.


http://www.insideindianabusiness.com/st ... anut-panic

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