Clinical safety of Food Allergy Herbal Formula-2 (FAHF-2) and inhibitory effect on basophils from patients with food allergy: Extended phase I study

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Abstract

Background

Food allergy is a common and increasing health concern in westernized countries. No effective treatment is available, and accidental ingestion can be life-threatening. Food Allergy Herbal Formula-2 (FAHF-2) blocks peanut-induced anaphylaxis in a murine model of peanut-induced anaphylaxis. It was found to be safe and well tolerated in an acute phase I study of patients with food allergy.

Objective

We sought to assess the safety of FAHF-2 in an extended phase I clinical trial and determine the potential effects on peripheral blood basophils from patients with food allergy.

Methods

Patients in an open-label study received 3.3 g (6 tablets) of FAHF-2 three times a day for 6 months. Vital signs, physical examination results, laboratory data, pulmonary function test results, and electrocardiographic data were acquired at baseline and at 2-month intervals. During the course of the study, basophil activation and basophil and eosinophil numbers were evaluated by using CCR3/CD63 staining and flow cytometry.

Results

Of 18 patients enrolled, 14 completed the study. No significant drug-associated differences in laboratory parameters, pulmonary function study results, or electrocardiographic findings before and after treatment were found. There was a significant reduction (P < .010) in basophil CD63 expression in response to ex vivo stimulation at month 6. There was also a trend toward a reduction in eosinophil and basophil numbers after treatment.

Conclusion

FAHF-2 was safe and well tolerated and had an inhibitory effects on basophil numbers in an extended phase I clinical study. A controlled phase II study is warranted.

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