Probiotic peanut allergy treatment: Chr. Hansen enters new partnership


18 Apr 2018 --- Chr. Hansen's probiotic strain, Lactobacillus rhamnosus (LGG), can potentially play a part in peanut allergy treatment, according to new data. Prota Therapeutics, developer of oral immunotherapies to treat food allergies, has partnered with Chr. Hansen, Danish food ingredients producer, to assess LGG in a clinical trial to develop a treatment for the allergy. Chr. Hansen tells NutritionInsight that the partnership is in effect as from today, and strengthens the position of Chr. Hansen in a market expected to grow to €10 billion by 2025.

An effective therapy to treat peanut allergies is now a realistic target. Chr. Hansen is the ideal partner for us in this next step, both as the owner of one of the key components in the therapeutic product – LGG – and as a leading expert in microbial solutions, says Dr. Suzanne Lipe, CEO at Prota Therapeutics.

“Chr. Hansen has demonstrated the capability to deliver a pharmaceutical quality product that can be regulated as a biological therapeutic product. Together with our proprietary peanut protein formulation, we aim to progress this through to commercialization of a treatment for peanut allergies, she adds. 

Thomas Gundelund Rasmussen, Director, Human Health and Microbiome Innovation tells NutritionInsight that regarding the medicine hitting the shelves, the process could take some time: It will be approximately three years for the phase three clinical study, which is followed by discussions with the US FDA. After which, Prota intends to submit a Biologics License Application to FDA.

However, he predicts that the company expects that these developments will, further strengthen the value and demand for LGG outside the Pharma world, thus strengthening our existing probiotics business for non-pharma applications.

Continuing clinical trials
Numerous studies have highlighted the therapeutic potential of specific bacteria in preventing and treating metabolic, gastrointestinal and other diseases. Investigating particular bacteria for the treatment of food allergies is an area that has recently gained momentum.

Prota Therapeutics is pioneering a new form of oral immunotherapy treatment. It combines Chr. Hansen’s specially formulated LGG probiotic strain with targeted doses of proprietary formulations of peanut protein. The procedure is designed to reprogram the immune system’s response to peanuts and eventually develop tolerance.

Building upon earlier trials conducted at the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute, Prota Therapeutics is progressing towards a large-scale Phase III clinical trial, under a US Investigational New Drug Application (IND). 

The aim is to commercialize a medicinal product using a new pharmaceutical-grade therapeutic dosage form for treating peanut allergy and to explore indications for treating other food allergies.

Chr. Hansen has the ability to maximize the value of a probiotic strain through our deep experience in microbial process development and formulation, our focus on quality, and our global reach. The partnership with Prota Therapeutics is part of our strategy to become the partner of choice for companies wanting to develop new generations of therapeutic microbes, says Christian Barker, Executive Vice President, Health & Nutrition at Chr. Hansen.

Speaking to our sister website, FoodIngredientsFirst, earlier this month, Christoffer Lorenzen, EVP Food Cultures & Enzymes at Chr. Hansen stated that they were excited about the use of microorganisms and the huge potential they hold for innovation.

“We want to enter into more partnerships in the food sector and to cater to dialogs related to health and wellness where the customer’s emphasis is on quality. Additionally, as a company, we have a lot of the focus on health and wellness in our Health and Nutrition business unit where we are working on both within the dietary supplements and infant nutrition space and also in the human microbiome space, on how a good bacteria impacts human health, he added.

The LGG strain is the world’s best documented probiotic strain and has been used in food and dietary supplements since 1990. Chr. Hansen fully acquired LGG from Valio in 2016, to further strengthen its microbial platform.

Additionally, earlier this month they reported that their Food Cultures and Enzymes unit helped bolster their solid organic overall revenue growth of nine percent.

Food allergies
Approximately 220-250 million people globally suffer from food allergies, an increase of 350 percent over the past 20 years. Furthermore, peanut allergy is the most common cause of anaphylaxis, a life-threatening allergic reaction, and one of the most common causes of death from food allergy. More than 3 million Americans suffer from peanut allergy3 resulting in a global peanut allergy therapeutics market estimated to reach more than US$10 billion by 2052.

In other allergen news, NutritionInsight has reported on intensifying calls for sesame inclusion in US allergen labeling rules.

By Laxmi Haigh 

To contact our editorial team please email us at

Related Articles

Nutrition & Health News

Zero proof that probiotics can ease your anxiety, research reveals

21 Jun 2018 --- Those hoping to alleviate their anxiety with the use of probiotics should probably put down that yogurt spoon or supplement bottle and call a professional instead. This is according to researchers from the University of Kansas who reviewed available research, finding evidence that probiotics can reduce anxiety in rodents, but not in humans. The researchers reviewed data from 22 preclinical studies involving 743 animals and 14 clinical studies of 1,527 individuals, and found that probiotics did “not significantly reduce symptoms of anxiety in humans and did not differentially affect clinical and healthy human samples.”

Business News

Probiotic expansion: General Mills leads investment in GoodBelly parent

21 Jun 2018 --- General Mills' venture arm, 301 Inc., is leading a US$12 million round in funding in NextFoods the parent company of GoodBelly Probiotics. Additional capital is coming from existing investors, including Emil Capital Partners. NextFoods was founded in 2007 by Todd Beckman and Steve Demos, who founded WhiteWave Foods, the owner of Silk plant-based milk.

Nutrition & Health News

DuPont microbiome venture inks third partnership on probiotics

21 Jun 2018 --- A new collaboration with Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique (INRA) Micalis-MGP will concentrate on DuPont’s probiotic strains and the understanding of these microbes’ mechanism of action on human health. The move is hoped to continue DuPonts Microbiome Venture capacity building – through strategic partnerships – in microbiome innovation.

Nutrition & Health News

Infant nutrition (part 2): Innovations in feeding the first 1,000 days

20 Jun 2018 --- Although breast milk is the most nutritious and advisable way to feed an infant for the first six months of life, as advised by the World Health Organization, there are situations that necessitate good quality breast milk substitutes. Part one of this two-part series on infant nutrition focused on the R&D challenges facing formula manufacturers. This second section focuses on the innovations in the ever-evolving market of Breast Milk Substitutes (BMS), as shared by a range of suppliers, as well as a look at the upcoming trends.

Nutrition & Health News

Infant nutrition (part 1): Challenges in feeding the first 1,000 days

18 Jun 2018 --- The World Health Organization (WHO) solidly recommends breastfeeding for infants. However, there are situations – medical, situational or personal – that necessitate good quality breast milk substitutes (BMS), such as formulas. In a bid to produce a formula that is closest in composition to human breast milk, manufacturers face a range of unique R&D challenges. In this two-part series on Infant Nutrition, NutritionInsight speaks to a number of key suppliers and experts about these challenges.

More Articles