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.