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article imagePeanut allergy patch in development

By Tim Sandle     Feb 17, 2018 in Science
A French medical technology company has developed a new patch to help address the risks surrounding peanut allergies. The patch is to be reviewed by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
The new patch has been developed by French biotechnology company DBV Technologies SA and its designed to address an allergy that affects millions of people worldwide. Peanut allergy is a type of food allergy (immune system reaction) to peanuts. This type of allergy differs from nut allergies (peanuts are despite their name, legumes, not nuts).
The physical symptoms of allergic reaction include itchiness, urticaria, swelling, eczema, sneezing, asthma, abdominal pain, drop in blood pressure, diarrhea, and cardiac arrest. In addition, anaphylaxis can occur. According to one clinical review, this allergy is recognized "as one of the most severe food allergies due to its prevalence, persistency, and potential severity of allergic reaction."
DBV's innovative health technology product comes in the form of a small disc. The aim is for the disc to be placed on the arm or, alternatively, between the shoulder blades. The patch functions like a vaccine by exposing the the immune system to tiny-doses of peanut protein. The aim is to increase tolerance and hence lower the chances of having a severe allergic reaction developing in response to accidental exposure. The treatment is termed epicutaneous immunotherapy.
The performing of the patch has been variable, based on clinical trials conducted by the Consortium of Food Allergy Research, according to Bloomberg, although its safety is not in question. Release into the market will be based on the U.S. FDA review along with considerations by other national regulatory agencies.
A review of the patch has been published in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, titled "Epicutaneous immunotherapy for the treatment of peanut allergy in children and young adults."
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