Shares of Aimmune Therapeutics skyrocketed in extended trading Friday after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the company's drug that reduces -- and potentially eliminates -- kids' allergic reactions to peanuts.
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The pharmaceutical company's stock was up more than 20 percent as parents their children from ages 4 to 17 received hope on the FDA action. The drug, taken orally, arrests any allergic reactions such as anaphylaxis, that occur after exposure to peanuts. Still, the company says that allergy sufferers still must maintain a peanut-free diet and the drug is not intended as an emergency treatment.
Aimmune will market the drug under the brand name Palforzia.
According to the American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology, some 1.2 million children and teens suffer from peanut allergies. They are the most common food allergy in children, affecting about 25 percent of those with a food allergy.
According to a recent study, peanut allergies have a dramatic impact on the economy and the cost of health care. It was estimated the economic cost of food allergies in the U.S involving children is $24.8 billion annually with $4.3 billion in direct medical costs.