Epicutaneous Immunotherapy May Provide Lasting Protection Against Anaphylaxis

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New preclinical data from DBV Technologies is suggesting Epicutaneous Immunotherapy (EPIT) provides sustained protection against food-induced anaphylaxis — both during therapy and after treatment.



This is huge news for families with food allergies because it’s the first time this skin-gut immune communication has been proven to suppress anaphylaxis even after treatment has ended. The goal of Epicutaneous Immunotherapy is to desensitize a patient to their allergen so they are no longer in danger if they ingest it, so this is a lasting benefit that will be incredibly reassuring for parents.

“These new data show that the unique immune communication between skin and gastrointestinal tract can be used to generate long-lasting protection from food allergies, and shed light on why we do not observe a sustained treatment response with other routes of immunotherapy,” says co-author Dr. Cecilia Berin.

DBV Technologies developed Viaskin®, a proprietary technology platform with broad potential applications in immunotherapy. DBV’s food allergies programs include ongoing clinical trials of Viaskin Peanut and Viaskin Milk, and preclinical development of Viaskin Egg.

EPIT was compared to OIT (Oral Immunotherapy) and the findings showed that after four weeks without treatment, mice treated with EPIT were “still significantly protected.” Mice treated with OIT, however, lacked protection after their treatment was discontinued.

Oral Immunotherapy is when a patient consumes small, increasing amounts of their allergen in a controlled setting. Over time, they hopefully become desensitized to the allergen and are able to tolerate it. The future of OIT is also looking bright. The Sean N. Parker Center for Allergy & Asthma Research at Stanford University School of Medicine re-tested patients who completed Phase 1 clinical trials for OIT and all subjects remained desensitized to at least 2g of each of their food allergens.

DBV Technologies made headlines earlier this month when Nestle handed them $10 million for the rights to their milk allergy testing kit.

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Heather Laura Clarke, a contributing writer at Scratch or Sniff, lives in Nova Scotia, Canada, with her high-school sweetheart husband, seven-year-old son, and five-year-old daughter. She writes for newspapers and magazines across Canada and the U.S., and blogs about her family life at Heather's Handmade Life. Follow her adventures on Twitter or Instagram.

1 Comment to Epicutaneous Immunotherapy May Provide Lasting Protection Against Anaphylaxis

  1. Lily

    I look forward to a day when treatments like these become a viable option for all individuals with food allergies. I myself was diagnosed with a severe tree nut allergy (all major varieties of tree nuts with the addition of coconut, mango, and, surprisingly, a specific type of peppercorn, although I can have peanuts) over a decade ago–closer to fourteen years, I think–when food allergies were not as common as or as studied they are now. I have considered studying to be an allergist in order to help advance treatments such as these. Although, I must admit, my motives are not completely altruistic: I long for the opportunity to try this nutella stuff that people seem to enjoy so much :). Thanks for writing this informative article. I will keep a close eye on this and other developing treatments!

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