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SBIR Phase I: Development of an Allergen-Reduced Peanut for Commercialization
Phone: (256) 479-8686
Phone: (256) 479-8686
The broader impact/commercial potential of this Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) project will be to produce and commercialize an allergen-reduced peanut. The goals are to: 1) save human lives by preventing allergy-related deaths, 2) reduce the incidence of peanut allergy, 3) increase security, comfort and peace of mind for those individuals sensitive to peanuts and their families, friends, schools, and restaurants, 4) reduce and/or eliminate the number of institutional lawsuits resulting from peanut allergy events, 5) reduce and/or eliminate the number of expensive food recalls due to peanut contaminations, 6) gain back the loss endured by the peanut market, and improve the U.S. competitive edge on the international peanut market, and 7) increase sales by 15% to 20% due to an increase market by restaurants, airlines and more. Food allergies cost the US $25 billion annually and peanut is a major contributor. The proposed allergen-reduced peanut may provide a significant solution to peanut allergy with the potential to reduce the overall cost of food allergy. This SBIR Phase I project proposes to produce a commercial prototype for an allergen-reduced peanut. In previous works, concomitant down regulation of the 3 most potent allergens Ara h1, Ara h2 and Ara h3 was demonstrated and resulted in 2 to 25 fold reduction in allergenic potency. The allergen-reduced trait was transmitted to four successive generations in the progeny in field trials. However, the populations of transgenic seeds were not homogeneous; they displayed variable levels of allergenic potency among pods from the same plant. To solve this problem, an alternative transformation method based on Repetitive Somatic Embryogenesis is proposed to produce new sets of transgenic peanut plants devoid of chimerism. During this Phase I project, molecular, biochemical and immunological analyses will be performed to confirm the new sets of transgenic peanut plant lines are chimera-free, and a commercial prototype for the allergen-reduced peanut will be identified.
* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *