Scientists are developing a skin patch, much like the nicotine patch, that may cure deadly peanut allergies.
The patch contains tiny traces of the peanut protein and helps the wearer develop a resistance to it.
Antibodies learn to recognize the peanut protein, perceive it as non-threatening, and therefore stop overreacting as though the peanut protein were an antagonist.
Interim reports are very promising
The patch, called the Viaskin Peanut, is part of an ongoing ARACHILD study. It is being conducted in a multicenter double-blind placebo-controlled 18-month clinical trial which is designed to assess the efficacy and safety of the patch in 54 randomized children aged 5 to 17 years with a confirmed peanut allergy. Importantly, the 6-month interim data show no drop-out of patients from the study due to adverse events related to the Viaskin Peanut patch. It does not cause anaphylactic shock, a reaction which can be lethal and is the most frightening consequence of a food allergy for many parents.
Currently no known treatment for peanut allergy
Professor Christophe Dupont, co-founder of DBV Technologies which manufacturers the patch said,
“This is the first time a treatment seems to act on food allergy without risk for the patient since there is no oral intake of the offending food at all.”
Since the proteins stay on the skin giving the body a chance to slowly acclimate, it is highly unlikely that the proteins get into the bloodstream.
Patch brings real hope
“There are no treatments available on the market for this life-threatening disease. Viaskin Peanut brings real hope for millions of patients,” said a spokesman for DBV Technologies.