Announcing: Innovation and the Future of Food Allergies

Every 3 minutes, a food allergy reaction sends someone to the emergency room– that is more than 200,000 emergency department visits per year. The number of people who have a food allergy is growing, but there is no clear answer as to why. As millions of Americans are diagnosed with food allergies, there is an increasing concern that research has not been keeping up.

Currently, there is no known cure for food allergies.  Avoidance of allergens and early recognition of allergic reactions to certain foods are important measures to prevent dangerous health consequences. Boston is becoming a hotbed of innovation for food allergy sufferers, and  industry experts turned their attention to solving challenges for this population. Several Boston companies have launched non-medical alternatives to help those affected by food allergies better control their situation.

On Thursday, May 11th in partnership with Perfectly Free, Branchfood will be hosting Innovation and the Future of Food Allergies at CIC Boston.  We will be joined by leaders in the food allergy movement: Janelle Nanos, Business Reporter at Boston Globe Media (moderator); Jud Horner, Chief Marketing Officer at Incredible Foods; Abi Barnes, Chief Executive Officer and Co-founder at Allergy Amulet; and Jacob Stahl, Chief Operating Officer and Co-founder at Antera Therapeutics.

The key for many of these companies was to focus scientific efforts on helping families deal with the complexities of living with allergies.  Each company strives to provide options for families in a structured, affordable, and convenient way. Incredible Foods develops allergy-friendly foods for everyone who desires a fuller, happier, healthier, free-from lifestyle. The company's first product, "perfectly free™", are frozen treats that contain only natural, premium ingredients and are free of the top eight food allergens: dairy, wheat, peanuts, tree nuts, eggs, soy, fish and shellfish. Also, the products are non-GMO and are prepared in a state-of-the art setting that is free from all major food allergens.  Morover, he Allergy Amulet is a rapid, portable, point-of-consumption food allergen and ingredient detection device that connects to a patent-pending disposable test strip. The device enables simple, mobile measurements to help individuals avoid ingesting target allergens/ingredients. The Allergy Amulet can be configured as a wearable (e.g., necklace or bracelet) or integrated into everyday products (e.g., keychain or epinephrine auto-injector). Antera Therapeutics develops pediatrician recommended products for the early introduction of allergens into infants’ diets. Antera’s first product, Aralyte, focuses on peanut proteins and is formulated to be safe enough for infants at-risk for developing food allergies. Antera is now hiring for several positions during our rapid growth phase.

As cited in the Boston Globe, “The ecosystem here is ripe, from a scientific perspective, an entrepreneurial perspective, and even from a funding perspective,”says a parent of a child with severe food allergies, Leslie Solomon. “You have driven parent advocates here and driven entrepreneurs. We’re trying to solve problems, and we’re in the right place to do it.”

We are excited to explore and hear from the companies and startups providing options for individuals struggling with the consequences of food allergies, as well as preview the latest products and technologies at our showcase.