Everyone has heard of food allergies – most famous are nut allergies and cow’s milk protein intolerance, but many foodstuffs, from crab and cod to eggs and oysters can trigger potentially serious allergic reactions in the body.
The DBV Technologies website takes you through the efforts of one French company to find a new way of combating this modern-day scourge. It has invested heavily in what’s known as an epicutaneous approach and early results look promising. ‘Epicutaneous’ refers to the method whereby active compounds (the proteins/allergens that give rise to the patient’s allergic reaction) are delivered to the body in an attempt to ‘desensitize’ it to these substances. Instead of injecting these allergens or administering them in drop form, they’re delivered to the body via the skin, hence the epicutaneous label.
As the mechanism used takes the shape of a powdered compound contained in an adhesive patch, it’s very easy to apply this method to different allergies. DBV-Technologies has developed a milk allergy treatment along these lines, as well as a peanut treatment. In both cases the active compound is sprayed onto the patch, as you can see below.