News for the food allergy community keeps coming, and it is all good.
Not in an “it’s all good” kind of way. I mean really, y’all, we have seen some seriously good news coming our way recently, like the new blood tests that may eliminate the need for oral food challenges and all of the different treatment options in various stages of research, trial, and practice.
The latest nugget is the nod that DBV Technologies received from the FDA in the form of the Breakthrough Therapy Designation. DBV, creator of Viaskin – or the “peanut patch” – is the first company to receive this designation for food allergy treatment.
What does this mean? Initially this means that up to this point clinical trials have held up well with positive results, and that they will be moving on to the next phase. The treatment is being fast-tracked by the FDA because it shows significant promise. Ultimately, it could mean a safer version of desensitizing those with peanut allergies than the current practice of oral immunotherapy (OIT).
I, personally, am following this process like a hawk. The peanut patch has a special place in my heart because Zachary was *thisclose* to participating in the trial.
Two years ago I received an invitation from Lurie Children’s Hospital to enroll Zachary in the VIPES (peanut patch) study. I studied, researched, and studied some more the (then) scant information available about the product and the trial itself. Our pediatrician and allergist both reviewed the paperwork and agreed it would be a study worth participating in. We filled out the paperwork and went through the preapproval process.
I remember clearly where I was during the phone call I had with the study coordinator planning our first appointment. And I remember clearly where I was exactly one week before our first appointment when the same coordinator called me with the news that his age group had just filled up; we were out of the study.
Everything happens for a reason, right? While I was disappointed, I was (and still am) thrilled and thankful that there were so many brave and dedicated kids and parents willing to take the risk to be a part of this study, paving a path for the rest of us.
It’s important to note that the peanut patch appears to be the tip of the iceberg for DBV Technologies. In addition to peanuts, DBV now has a milk patch in clinical trial and a dust mite patch in the preclinical phase.
Huge. Good. Positive news.