Many different techniques have been tried, with varying degrees of success, in the battle against food allergies. Seafood, various types of fish, cow’s milk, peanut and egg are all foodstuffs that can trigger allergic reactions in young and old alike, sometimes with fatal results. DBV-Technologies (www.dbv-technologies.com/en/) is a French company that has been researching new approaches to the treatment and diagnosis of some of the most common food allergies, namely peanut and cow’s milk protein.
The technique it has decided to focus on is known as epicutaneous immunotherapy, or EPIT for short. More details on DBV-Tech’s EPIT-based solution may be found on http://www.dbv-technologies.com/en/epit. EPIT is different in that it is non-invasive, unlike many allergy treatment techniques. It works by delivering the allergen causing the allergic reaction to the patient’s Langerhans cells, just underneath the upper epidermis. Over time, this desensitizes the patient to the antigen. This method is particularly suitable for use with young children and babies as it is not painful at all. The active compounds involved in the treatment are simply applied via an adhesive patch called Viaskin®, developed at DBV-Tech premises (pictured below).