Allergies have been with us since time immemorial. Equally, we have been trying to come up with cures to irritating or even downright dangerous allergic reactions for hundreds of years. On the DBV-Technologies website (www.dbv-technologies.com/en) you can find out what this French company has been doing to try to make allergies a thing of the past!
Based in the greater Paris area, DBV-Technologies has focussed its attention on a number of different allergy treatments. The ones likely to attract the most interest are its peanut allergy treatment and its cows’ milk allergy treatment. Peanut allergy is one of the most widespread of all allergies, and everyone will have heard of horror stories of children and adults dying due to severe allergic reactions (anaphylaxis) after accidentally ingesting nuts. Previously allergies have been treated in a variety of ways (injections, drops). Instead, this firm has developed the Viaskin patch (pictured below) which contains allergens (protein compounds that are sprayed onto the patch in the shape of electrically-charged droplets), which are then transferred to the body through the skin. This begins the all-important process of desensitization, which is the ultimate goal of allergy treatments.
Allergen immunotherapy has been around for over a hundred years now, and many advances have been made in the treatment and diagnosis of allergies. However, many people, especially in North America and Europe, still have to run the gauntlet of severe allergic reactions every time they ingest a given food.
It’s estimated that scores of people die every year in the USA and Europe due to allergic reactions triggered by eating peanuts, which is why DBV-Technologies (www.dbv-technologies.com) has made it a priority to come up with a solution to this particular problem.
The Viaskin® patch (see above), is an unremarkable-looking adhesive patch, with a remarkable design. It contains small quantities of an antigen in powdered form, which is delivered through the patient’s skin without the need for adjuvants or injections. A condensation chamber helps hydrate the skin, which in turn facilitates the rapid delivery of the antigens.