You may not have heard of epicutaneous immunotherapy before, but this technique is likely to become much better known soon through the research work performed by French firm DBV Technologies (http://www.dbv-technologies.com).
Allergies have probably never been more prominent in the public consciousness than they are now. Well-known allergies cover everything from nuts and eggs to shellfish.
DBV Technologies and Viaskin could well be the names on everybody’s lips if this new technology is as effective as tests suggest.
At its most basic, Viaskin comprises a patch that’s placed on the patient’s arm. The principal aspects of the patch are made up of its adhesive crown next to the skin and a titanium backing.
The concept behind this epicutaneous patch might surprise you by its simplicity. An antigen is sprayed onto the patch using electrospray technology. This creates an even layer of dry antigens.These antigens or allergens can travel through the skin and into the Langerhans cells, rather than entering the bloodstream, with the attendant risk of anaphylaxis. These cells are very tolerogenic, making them ideal for the purposes of ‘tolerization’.
This method is being trialled in various versions, including Viaskin egg.