Jolanda van Bilsen (invited speaker) and Marty Blom attended the 18th annual meeting of the International Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Alliance (IFAAA) held at the Hilton Metropole Hotel in London, England, on November 25, 2017.
Each year, the Food Allergy Research and Education (FARE) organizes a meeting with the leaders of the prominent food allergy patient organizations and stakeholders worldwide. The meeting was held prior EAACI’s Pediatric Allergy and Asthma Meeting (PAAM) and was attended by researchers, clinicians, drug manufacturers, regulators, food allergy patient representatives from 19 countries, food safety experts and producers of food and agricultural products.
Presentation topics included stakeholder perspectives on food allergy research, advocacy efforts to expand access to epinephrine and safe foods, advances in diagnosis and treatment, and the multi-faceted challenges of food allergy management. The Daily life challenges and perspectives and priorities for patients on topics were central in each of the sessions. Promising research and new developments were presented in the area of diagnostics and therapeutics and prevention. Jolanda van Bilsen showed how a “Network Based Approach to Improve Efficacy and Safety of Immune Interventions” could speed up research by identifying the relevant targets for research and developing understanding out of ‘big data’. This was well-received and provided a new view for many of the participants.
The session on Food regulation showed the different stakeholders perspectives on the current situation and what should be improved. The session included the state of the art of the recently finalized EU project iFAAM. The Tiered Risk Assessment approach developed in the work package led by TNO was seen as a step forward in allergen risk assessment.