Every so often, an idea comes along that seems so simple, you wonder why you didn’t think of it first. DBV-Technologies must surely have experienced this kind of ‘eureka’ moment with their epicutaneous patch for the diagnosis and treatment of food allergies.
The only method to encompass a non-invasive specific immunotherapy technique, this adhesive patch works by applying very small amounts of an allergen to the patient’s skin. By prolonging this contact, the body’s tolerance levels may be built up – but without running the risk of inducing a severe allergic reaction in the patient, as at no point is the blood-skin barrier broken.
The Viaskin® patch, as it’s officially called, works as shown below in the diagram. It’s extremely versatile, as the dosage and allergen type can be easily changed to suit individual patients. The company is currently working with patches targeting dust mite, peanut and cow’s milk protein allergies, but there is obviously scope to expand this range further.