One French firm, DBV-Technologies, (http://www.dbv-technologies.com/en/), has really got some common food allergies in its sights. Although there are many different allergies connected with the food we eat, certain allergies are more common – and therefore problematic – than others. Peanut allergy is perhaps the best-known, but egg allergy and milk allergy, also called CMPA (Cow’s Milk Protein Allergy) are also widespread. This particular allergy is especially common in developed countries, where it can affect up to 3% of infants.
Treating children for allergies poses particular issues, and this is where DBV-Technology’s latest solution comes into play. It’s an adhesive patch, which is placed on the skin (see below). This means that there are no painful injections or messy oral treatments involved, which can be difficult to administer on kids. Instead, the patch contains very small quantities of the antigen which has been causing the allergic reaction. Bit by bit, this antigen is released into the body, where the patient can start getting used to it. This process is called ‘desensitization’ or ‘tolerization’. More research has to be done on this epicutaneous immunotherapy solution, but early results look promising.