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UChicago Medicine named to national network to advance food allergy research

July 9, 2015

The University of Chicago Medicine is among 22 centers of excellence across the country chosen by Food Allergy Research & Education (FARE) to be inaugural members of its FARE Clinical Network, which will work to accelerate development of therapies and raise the standard of care for people with life-threating food allergies.

Members of the FARE Clinical Network were selected for high standards in clinical care, teaching and allergy research. FARE is initially investing more than $2 million annually in the FARE Clinical Network and will be announcing new members at a later date.

In addition to conducting trials for promising therapies, UChicago Medicine will collaborate with FARE and other centers to establish best practices for the care of patients with food allergies. UChicago Medicine clinicians will also contribute to the development of a national food allergy patient registry and biorepositories that are central to the FARE Clinical Network's collaborative work.
 
"The University of Chicago Medicine is honored to be named to the FARE Clinical Network," said Christina Ciaccio, MD, assistant professor of pediatrics at the University of Chicago Medicine and medical director of the new center of excellence. "It's a bold initiative that will drive significant advancements. We believe that in the near future we'll be able to offer patients new treatments that will decrease their likelihood of experiencing a severe allergic reaction and for some, may even offer a cure."

FARE is the leading advocacy organization working on behalf of the 15 million Americans with food allergies. Food allergy is a potentially life-threatening disease and a growing public health issue. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the number of children with food allergies in the U.S. rose 50 percent from 1997 to 2011. Today, 1 in 13 American children has a food allergy – roughly two in every classroom. There is no cure or FDA-approved therapy for preventing food allergy reactions.

"We need to push for the development of drugs and other therapies to prevent life-threatening food allergy reactions, while ensuring that children and adults with food allergy receive the best care possible," said James R. Baker, Jr., MD, CEO and chief medical officer of FARE. "To that end, FARE will direct the Clinical Network centers of excellence across the country to a common goal of ensuring that patients with food allergies have access to state-of-the-art diagnosis, treatments and research. We will continue to expand the number of centers to provide access to more patients. This effort is fundamental to our mission — to improve the quality of life and the health of individuals with food allergies while providing them hope through the promise of new treatments."

For more information on the FARE Clinical Network, visit www.foodallergy.org/research/fare-clinical-network.

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