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DBV Technologies – ushering in a new era of food allergy treatments?

Medical advances are everywhere we look – many conditions which were previously life-threatening can now be treated with ease, and cures or palliative treatment for even serious illnesses are far more effective. When it comes to allergies, however, it can feel like we haven’t made that much progress. Well, DBV Technologies ( begs to differ.

The Langerhans cells are central to the epicutaneous immunotherapy approach

This is a French company working in medical research which is currently involved in the food allergy treatment field. Its main avenue of research is the Viaskin patch, which is being developed in several different versions, including hens’ egg, cows’ milk protein and peanut.

The patch belongs to the family of epicutaneous immunotherapy solutions, in other words, a solution that works by introducing allergens to the body through the skin. Other ways of desensitizing the human body to allergens, either via injection or oral drops, can be messy, painful or provoke severe allergic reactions. By entering the body through the skin, one of the first contact points for the allergens are the Langerhans cells, which you can see below. These are extremely tolerogenic cells, making them ideal for this purpose.