Research and Healthcare Organizations Form the Seattle Food Allergy Consortium (SeaFAC) to Bring New Treatments and Research to the Northwest
SeaFAC includes Asthma Inc Clinical Research Center/ Northwest Asthma & Allergy Center, Benaroya Research Institute/ Virginia Mason Medical Center, Seattle Children’s Hospital/Seattle Children’s Research Institute, and UW Medicine
True food allergies are more than just the sniffles. They can cause severe reactions and even be deadly. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), over 15 million Americans have food allergies, with the number of children suffering from them increasing 50 percent since 1997. Across the Pacific Northwest, allergists are seeing this national trend play out in their own practices with their numbers also doubling. It is a growing public health crisis.
To address this crisis, Asthma Inc Clinical Research Center /Northwest Asthma and Allergy Center, Benaroya Research Institute/ Virginia Mason Allergy, Seattle Children’s Hospital/Seattle Children’s Research Institute, and UW Medicine Allergy have joined forces to form The Seattle Food Allergy Consortium (SeaFAC). SeaFAC’s goal is to bring together Seattle’s leading clinicians in food allergy and local research organizations to create a food allergy center that can bring cutting-edge treatments and research to our area.
Creating this center of expertise will allow SeaFAC to attract new clinical trials and federal and private funding for ongoing research and education. Through community outreach, SeaFAC also hopes to stimulate local fundraising efforts and build a base of food allergic individuals willing to help advance food allergy therapies by participating in scientific studies and therapy trials.
"This is an exciting time in food allergy research, with clinical trials showing promise and an increasing amount of new research into the cause, prevention and treatment of food allergies,” notes Dr. Stephen Tilles, a SeaFAC executive board member. “If we want to reap the benefits of these innovations locally, we need to work together as a community."
In the next few months, SeaFAC plans to open a food challenge clinic where “higher risk” food ingestion challenges can be performed safely. This will meet a growing need in the community and enable SeaFAC to participate in future clinical food allergy trials. Because of SeaFAC’s efforts, Seattle is already hosting its first major food allergy treatment study for the Viaskin Peanut patch (from DBV Technologies).