Dr. Larry Posner does more than treat people for allergies, though he certainly does that through his North Bay Allergy and Asthma clinic in Napa.
He started North Bay Clinical Trials Inc. in Napa about 12 years ago. He does trials for allergic disease and asthma, using drugs that are candidates for Federal Drug Administration approval. In some cases, drugs have been approved for one use and are now being looked at for another use.
Those taking part in the clinical trials get free medication and ongoing physician care, Posner said.
“It gives a chance for people to be able to utilize drugs before they’re actually approved, particularly people who have tried the usual therapies and they’re not effective,” Posner said.
He stressed that the safety issue involving the medications is the priority.
The clinical research is an offshoot of his practice, Posner said. He became interested in trying to stay ahead of the curve. Existing best treatments control asthma for 70 percent of patients, leaving a gap of 30 percent, he said.
People still go to the emergency rooms every day with asthma. Eight to nine people in the United States die daily from asthma, he said.
Posner became interested in treating asthma and allergies because of his pediatrician training. He saw the ailments as being a frequent problem. Up to 18 percent of children at some point before they grow up will experience asthma.
“It’s a common and increasing area of concern, as is allergies,” Posner said.
Posner holds a bachelor of science degree in cybernetics from the University of California, Los Angeles and a medical degree from the University of Southern California Medical School. He did his residency in pediatrics at the University of California, Irvine. He did his fellowship in allergy and clinical immunology at the University of California, San Francisco.