Two new allergy centres have been launched to accelerate research and treatment to improve the lives of five million Australians living with allergic diseases. 

MCRI NACE leadershipteam 310822The National Allergy Centre of Excellence (NACE) and the National Allergy Council (NAC) were launched today by Health Assistant Minister Ged Kearney and allergy experts, including researchers from the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute.

The organisations will work together to deliver world-leading initiatives and research to improve clinical care and prevent deaths from severe allergic reactions.

Allergic diseases are among the fastest-growing chronic conditions in Australia, affecting about one in five. One in 10 infants and one in 20 children, aged 10-14 years, have a food allergy, respectively.

Annual food anaphylaxis admission cases increased nine-fold between 1998/99 and 2018/19, with the highest absolute rates in those aged less than one year old. Deaths from food-induced anaphylaxis are increasing by about around 10 per cent every year.

Hosted at the Murdoch Children’s, the Centre for Food & Allergy Research (CFAR) has expanded to become the NACE, to help accelerate all areas of allergy research spanning drug, food, insect and respiratory.

As Australia’s peak allergy research body, the NACE will develop hubs for allergy research, repository and discovery, evidence and translation, and training and innovation. This will ensure Australia remains at the forefront of evidence-based management of allergic disease.

Murdoch Children’s Population Allergy Group Leader and NACE Director Associate Professor Kirsten Perrett said, “sadly, our country is considered the allergy capital of the world, but as Australia’s peak allergy research body, we want to change that.

“To do this, the NACE will generate the tools and resources to facilitate and accelerate allergy research. The NACE will also give consumers, clinicians and policymakers access to the latest evidence-based research into allergy preventions, intervention and treatment. I believe this national plan of action will have a life-changing impact.”

Associate Professor Perrett said the launch of NACE was a huge leap forward for our understanding of allergies, especially in an Australian context, and would help seamlessly connect evidence and practice.

"We will implement a Clinical Trials Network, the first National Allergy Repository alongside living systematic reviews, and train the next generation of allergy researchers,” she said. This will facilitate precision medicine, improve consumer safety and help prevent anaphylaxis deaths.”

The NAC is a natural progression of the highly valued and successful National Allergy Strategy, and is a partnership between the Australasian Society of Clinical Immunology and Allergy (ASCIA) and Allergy & Anaphylaxis Australia (A&AA), Australia's lead medical and allergy patient support organisations.

NACE and NAC were established thanks to a $26.9 million Federal Government investment, which will fund the initiatives over four years.  

Working together, the NAC and NACE will deliver:

  • A shared care program to significantly cut wait times to see a specialist by at least 50 per cent and improve access to quality allergy care for all Australians, especially in rural and remote areas
  • The digital infrastructure for a National Allergy Repository to facilitate precision medicine, allowing individualised allergy healthcare for children and adults. This would include a live anaphylaxis reporting system
  • A National Allergy Clinical Trials Network to provide Australians with accelerated access to safe and effective allergy treatments
  • Continued public health guidelines and prevention programs such as the successful food allergy prevention program ‘Nip allergies in the Bub’, which includes practical resources for parents and educational support for healthcare providers
  • New clinical and research capabilities to enable Australia to maintain its world-leading status in allergy research and to answer the most important questions in allergy that will guide the way forward to help decrease the burden on individuals, families, the healthcare system and the community at large

Available for interview:

Associate Professor Kirsten Perrett, Murdoch Children’s Group Leader, Population Allergy

Media Contact:

Bridie Byrne
MCRI media manager                                                                                
+61 457 365 848

About Murdoch Children’s Research Institute

The Murdoch Children's Research Institute is the largest child health research institute in Australia, committed to making discoveries and developing treatments to improve child and adolescent health in Australia and around the world. They are pioneering new treatments, trialling better vaccines and improving ways of diagnosing and helping sick babies, children and adolescents. It is one of the only research institutes in Australia to offer genetic testing to find answers for families of children with previously undiagnosed conditions. 

Funding 

The National Allergy Council (NAC) and National Allergy Centre of Excellence (NACE) are backed by a $26.9 million Federal Government investment.