DETROIT–The National Science Foundation has awarded a federal grant to Alerje, the Detroit-based startup developing digital tools for food allergy management, under the Small Business Innovation Research program of the federal government.
Company officials say they’ll use the grant to develop an oral immunotherapy (OIT) platform that collects, stores, analyses, and distributes clinically relevant data to patients, allergists, and the pharmaceutical industry.
Alerje’s digital platform possesses various food allergy management features, including improving the efficacy of delivering an OIT regimen for allergists, ensuring successful completion by the patient.
This platform will enhance the relationship between an allergist and patients and address mental health regarding the treatment process while reducing unnecessary costs and delays in treatment.
OIT is a process of desensitizing a patient to a food to which they are allergic by giving minuscule doses of that food and slowly increasing the amount of the dose over time. Research shows that an OIT regimen can take up to a year to complete, and with regular maintenance, the patient can have less worry about triggering a severe allergic reaction.
Alerje’s digital platform addresses the barriers in OIT adherence to reaching that goal, including physical, financial and psychological challenges.
Recently, Alerje was awarded a patent for an epinephrine auto-injector that attaches to a smartphone, providing convenient access to epinephrine in seconds in case of a severe reaction.
“From 2007 to 2016, severe food allergy reactions have increased 377%,” said Alerje founder and CEO Javier Evelyn. “To combat this, we have established a highly efficient digital platform for managing an OIT regimen. We are delighted that America’s seed fund through the National Science Foundation has recognized the potential of this digital platform. Our food allergy OIT digital platform represents an exciting approach towards treatment of these food allergies, which impacts over 220 million patients worldwide.”
More at www.alerje.com.