Researchers develop first functional targeted inhibitors of peanut allergens -- ScienceDailyTo achieve their goal, Bilgicer and his team used nanoparticles, called nanoallergens, to screen and identify the key binding sites on peanut proteins that patient IgE antibodies recognize by studying samples from a small population of patients with severe allergies to peanuts. That was significant, Bilgicer said, because "it seems only a few sites seem to be exceptionally critical in driving the allergic response." Once identified, Bilgicer's team synthesized a specialized inhibitor, called covalent heterobivalent inhibitor (cHBI), to prevent IgE from binding to the peanut protein. In a study of 16 patient samples with severe peanut allergies, the cHBIs were successful in inhibiting an allergic response in up to 90 percent of all samples. The study presents a compelling case for further development and assessment of cHBI as a viable strategy for treating peanut allergies.