A worldwide study is being conducted which could lead to a “patch” for peanut allergy sufferers.

This wearable patch would be similar to a nicotine patch for cigarette smokers wishing to quit, except it would help peanut allergy sufferers become more desensitized to peanuts and thus less likely to have an allergic reaction upon small, accidental exposures.

The study is sponsored by a French biopharmaceutical firm called DBV Technologies and is being conducted in 24 centers around the globe. The research could culminate in a working patch that would then be submitted to government bodies for approval.

How does the patch work?

The patch has a small amount of peanut protein on it, with the amount being increased slowly over time with patches of varying degrees. The researchers aim to alleviate the side effects some patients in sublingual studies have had by eliminating the oral intake requirement.

When will the patch be available?

Enrollment in the study completed last month, and the research is expected to run until July of 2014. The results will then be written for scientific scrutiny and published as soon as possible. The company expects the patch, if all goes well with the study, to be ready for government approvals in Europe, Australia and the U.S. within a year of study completion.

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