DBV Technologies is a French company that’s exploring new techniques in the field of EPIT or epicutaneous immunotherapy, as it’s also known. This is a completely different approach to treating allergies compared with the injection of allergens into the body or the use of oral drops. It involves a patch, called the Viaskin patch, which is placed directly onto the skin.
As you can see in the photograph below, it’s a discreet and completely painless treatment. The basic principle is the same for all allergies. A very small amount of the relevant allergen is applied to the patch in an electrostatically-charged stream. This ensures the even application of the allergen. It’s then delivered to the body’s most tolerogenic cells, the Langerhans cells, through the skin. Gradually, the body becomes used to the presence of these allergens and ceases to react in the same violent way as before (the allergic reaction).
The patch method holds out particular promise because it’s so flexible. At the moment, DBV-Technologies is working on a number of different patches, including peanut, cows’ milk and egg.