In Health

Victoria Shadow Minister for Health Mary Wooldridge

Pioneering Cure For Kids With Allergies

Victor P Taffa

Parents of children with allergies often live in fear and worry that their children will come into contact with a food that will cause a life threatening allergic reaction.

That’s why a Liberal/Nationals Coalition Government will invest $1.5 Million to fund a world first Oral Immunotherapy Allergy Trials Program at Melbourne University if elected in November.

“This research has the potential to change lives and give parents the freedom to live without fear of the life-threatening consequences of anaphylaxis.” Shadow Minister for Health Mary Wooldridge said.


“This investment will expand the research base and support Melbourne’s continued global leadership in medical research, and food allergy in particular.”

This funding will enable hundreds of children to participate in clinical trials in Melbourne and Geelong over a three year period.

Victoria has one of the highest rates of food allergies in the world, with 50,000 children suffering from a food allergy and at risk of anaphylaxis. This represents 10% of infants and 5% of children with a food based allergy at varying degrees of severity.

Food Allergies

90% of all food allergies account for reactions from:

  • Cow’s milk,
  • Egg,
  • Fish and Crustaceans,
  • Peanut,
  • Sesame,
  • Soy,
  • Tree nuts,
  • Wheat.

“This program will ensure families can access these novel and exciting treatments in a safe setting without needing to travel to the US for care.” Liberal Candidate for Prahran Dr. Katie Allen said.

This life saving Oral Immunotherapy can reduce the severity of the allergy by desensitising patients through slowly introducing small quantities of the food which the child is allergic to under medical supervision. The child continues a daily dose at home and returns for supervision of a gradual increase of the dose every month. The dose is ingested daily for 1-2 years depending on progress of the treatment.

Program, made possible through a $1.5 million future Liberal/Nationals Coalition Government grant, will be led by Professor Shyamali Dharmage at the University of Melbourne’s School of Population and Global Health and undertake multi-centre clinical trials with the aim of curing food allergies such as peanut and tree nut, cows’ milk and egg.

As a University based Oral Immunotherapy Allergy Trials Program, it will be the first of its kind in the world to bring controlled research outcomes to children with food allergy.

“I’m delighted to be given the opportunity to lead this exciting program of work for Australia.” Professor Shyamali Dharmage University of Melbourne said.

Results of this research will have an immediate impact on helping find cures for children with nut and other food allergies and help beat anaphylaxis.

Clinicians in the US are offering oral immunotherapy treatments for peanut and other food allergies and these new therapies appear to be effective, but still require research trials to inform the correct dose and safety profile of the treatment.

Australian families are spending tens of thousands of dollars to travel to the US to receive these emerging treatments for up to 12 months because they are not yet validated by research or offered in Australia.

Only the Liberal/Nationals Coalition will invest in this lifesaving trial program to keep our kids safe.

Victoria State Election will be held on 24 November 2018.


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