You may not have heard of epicutaneous immunotherapy before, but this technique is likely to become much better known soon through the research work performed by French firm DBV Technologies (http://www.dbv-technologies.com).
Increasing numbers of individuals suffer from one or more allergy. Fairly prevalent allergies take in both edible substances e.g. peanuts, and non-edible, e.g. house dust mites.
DBV Technologies has been at the forefront of new research in the field in the shape of the Viaskin platform.
At its most basic, Viaskin comprises a patch that’s placed on the patient’s arm. The primary features of the patch include an electrostatically-charged backing and an adhesive crown.
The theory that underpins the patch isn’t particularly complicated. Tiny amounts of the relevant allergen are sprayed upon the patch in an even coating, which then dries.These antigens or allergens can travel through the skin and into the Langerhans cells, rather than entering the bloodstream, with the attendant risk of anaphylaxis. These cells are very tolerogenic, making them ideal for the purposes of ‘tolerization’.
The Viaskin peanut patch in particular could be a real boon to millions.