People have suffered from allergies from time immemorial. However, in recent years, certain allergies have become more widespread. For instance, the number of children who are allergic to peanuts has increased fourfold in the space of a little over ten years (1997 to 2008).
On the DBV Technologies website you’ll find details of what this French company is doing to fight back against allergies, particularly food allergies, such as cow’s milk protein allergy and peanut allergy. The key weapon the firm has developed is the Viaskin® patch. This unobtrusive adhesive patch is applied to the patient’s arm and gets to work straightaway. With the help of electrospray technology (pictured below), a fine layer of proteins (the antigen) is sprayed onto the patch backing. This novel approach helps the active compound retain its properties. By creating a ‘condensation chamber’ with the skin, the patch solubilizes the compound and allows it to penetrate into the upper layers of the epidermis. Thus begins the process of ‘tolerization’. Patches are suitable for patients of all ages and could potentially be used against non-food allergies too, such as house dust mite allergy.