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Rho Supports Groundbreaking Study Demonstrating that Peanut Consumption Beginning in Infancy Prevents Peanut Allergy

Published 02/27/15


For Immediate Release

CRO serves as the Statistical and Data Coordinating Center for NIH funded study

Chapel Hill, NC  -  February 27, 2015  -  Rho, a contract research organization (CRO) focused on bringing new products to market through a full range of product development services, is part of a groundbreaking National Institutes of Health (NIH) funded study on peanut allergy. Researchers have recently published results in the New England Journal of Medicine, finding an overall 81 percent reduction of peanut allergy in children who began early, continuous consumption of peanut, compared to those who avoided peanut. 

The study, Learning Early About Peanut Allergy (LEAP) was supported by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the NIH, and conducted by researchers in NIAID's Immune Tolerance Network (ITN). Lead by Gideon Lack, M.D., of King's College London, the study tested the hypothesis that early introduction of peanut in the diets of children at risk for developing peanut allergy could lead to a reduction in peanut allergy at age 5. 

As part of Rho's federal market work, the company serves as the Statistical and Data Coordinating Center for the NIAID Immune Tolerance Network, supporting approximately 25 active clinical trials and related research studies on allergic diseases, lupus nephritis, multiple sclerosis, type 1 diabetes, transplantation and more. Rho provides support for statistical analysis, safety monitoring, data management, as well as supporting study protocol and manuscript development. 

"Food allergies, particularly peanut allergy, which is the most common cause of life-threatening food-induced anaphylaxis, are a growing concern around the world," said Herman Mitchell, Ph.D., vice president and senior research scientist, Rho. "For many years, physicians recommended that young children avoid peanut in their diet to reduce developing peanut allergy.  Yet peanut allergy doubled in the decade following 1997 and therefore the American Academy of Pediatrics rescinded this recommendation in 2008.  Dr. Lack's study suggests that not only is avoidance likely to be unhelpful, but rather early introduction of peanut in the diet of the children helps to prevent later peanut allergy."  

Approximately 30 Rho employees have provided support for the LEAP study, including researchers Michelle Sever, PhD and Henry T Bahnson, MPH, who are both co-authors of the published results. Rho will continue to support the next phase of the study, which hopes to determine whether the reduction in peanut allergy among those in the peanut-consuming group will be maintained if they avoid eating peanut for a year. 

This work was funded in part by NIAID under award numbers NO1-AI-15416, UM1AI109565 and HHSN272200800029C. Other organizations providing support include Food Allergy Research & Education, the Asthma UK Centre, and the UK Department of Health. The study results can be found on ITN Trialshare (www.itntrialshare.org) an open-access website that hosts studies conducted by the ITN. Additional details are available at ClinicalTrials.gov using the identifier NCT00329784 for LEAP and NCT01366846 for LEAP-On. 

To learn more about Rho, please visit www.rhoworld.com.

About Rho

Rho, a privately-held, contract research organization (CRO) located in Chapel Hill, NC, provides a full range of clinical research services across the entire drug development process. For more than 25 years, Rho has been a trusted partner to some of the industry's leading pharmaceutical, biotechnology, and medical device companies as well as academic and government organizations. Our commitment to excellence, our innovative technologies, and our therapeutic expertise accelerate time to market, maximize returns on investment, and lead to an exceptional customer experience. Please follow us on Twitter.


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