Schoolboy first in the Midlands to receive therapy for peanut allergy

21st Mar 2023

A schoolboy has become the first patient in the Midlands to receive a pioneering treatment for his peanut allergy.

Hugo Codona, aged 10, was given his first dose of Palforzia at Sandwell Hospital, in West Bromwich. The ground-breaking treatment increases a child’s ability to tolerate a small amount of peanut protein and reduces the risk of severe reactions like anaphylaxis, which is life-threatening. 

The youngster, from Lichfield said: “I had my first few doses mixed with my favourite yoghurt and I couldn’t taste anything, so it went really well.

“I felt nervous at first, but this is going to help me in the future and give me confidence in dealing with my peanut allergy.”

The drug comes in the form of capsules with a measured amount of peanut powder inside. The powder is designed to be mixed with food such as yoghurt and aims to build up a tolerance to the food.

It was first given the go ahead to use by the NHS early last year following research trials.

Hugo’s mum, Lucy added: “Although he was a bit anxious initially, he took it like a champ. The staff at Sandwell Hospital have been so supportive and reassuring with this being a newer treatment.

“It will be worth it as it means we can go on family holidays, to restaurants and the cinema without the worry and fear that Hugo could potentially suffer from anaphylaxis.

“As he gets older and starts to go out with friends, it makes us as parents feel assured that there is a reduced risk of a dangerous allergic reaction.

“This will definitely improve the quality of life for Hugo or any other patient taking it. We are excited for the future.”

Hugo will have to take the drug daily for two to three years and afterwards a small amount of peanut will need to be eaten every day for the rest of his life.

Aneta Ivanova, Paediatric Allergy Nurse Consultant at Sandwell and West Birmingham NHS Trust, which runs Sandwell Hospital, said: “It’s an exciting time for our young patient Hugo and for us as we are the first in the Midlands to be offering this immunotherapy.

“It is not a cure for a peanut allergy, however it does reduce the risk of having a severe allergic reaction like anaphylaxis.

“Palforzia is going to improve the quality of life for Hugo, his family and other patients in the community suffering from peanut allergy.”

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