BY RHIANN MOORE
If you’ve spent your life forced to envy the simplistic, yet delicious peanut butter and jelly sandwich, those days could soon be behind you. A treatment for the menacingly common peanut allergy is being proven to work by DBV Technologies. While the patch they are working on may not necessarily erase the allergy, that data shows that it has the ability to significantly lessen the severity, which will make a massive difference to those suffering from airborne allergies. Although people who have peanut allergies may not be able to inhale an entire jar, the patch could allow them to ingest up to one or more grams of peanut butters sans reaction. The patch just passed a phase II clinical trial meaning it’s just one trial away from starting the process for FDA approval. The company intends to start this next phase by June – hoping to include other common allergies such as milk, eggs, tree nuts and shellfish.
DBV Technologies presented the new data at the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology conference on March 5, 2017. The data proved that the patch helped 83% of participating children to increase their consumption of peanut butter ten-fold since the trial started three years ago. Although the testing was done on those aged 6-55, they found the most significant results in children ages 6-11. While the final product may be a few years in the future there can be no denying the significance of this. Peanut allergies often make their debut at a young age and are a serious ailment to sufferers. Researchers estimate that 1 in every 13 children suffers from a deadly allergy, but if this product succeeds they could live their lives free of such stress. Food allergy reactions statistically send one person to the emergency every three minutes – often these trips can prove fatal, technology like this could literally mean the difference between life and death for peanut allergy sufferers.
The patch works by targeting the immune system through the skin in a process entitled epicutaneous immunotherapy. Within the patches there is a sample of peanut protein. Once put on the protein makes its way into the immune system of the wearer, avoiding the blood stream which would cause the allergic reaction. Typically allergies are treated in an attempt to build up a steady tolerance via smell and digestion, which can be quite dangerous with food allergies specifically. The patch is safer because it avoids the blood stream, giving the body a safer way to build up the desired tolerance.
Allergic reactions are a massive problem all over the world, with peanut allergies being one of the worst offenders. Severe reactions can prove fatal, while minor ones are a massive inconvenience that can cause unfortunate suffering. Food allergies can prove some of the most intense and are incredibly difficult to avoid, technology like this patch could prove invaluable especially if it extends past exclusively peanut allergies.