Peanut Allergy Patch Treatment
Epicutaneous Immunotherapy (EPIT) introduces new way to treat peanut allergies!
Peanut allergy is one of the most serious food allergies and is responsible for the majority of food anaphylaxis reactions and food allergy deaths. At least 1% of the U.S. population has peanut allergy. Current treatment for peanut allergy is inadequate and insufficient. The only present treatment is strict avoidance. While desensitization for peanut allergy with injections/shots resulted in very serious side effects and oral desensitization to peanut is still in clinical trials, a new option is now on the horizon. The goal is to find a safe method to induce tolerance in peanut allergic patients so if an accidental exposure/ingestion occurs, a severe anaphylactic reaction can be prevented.
Epicutaneous immunotherapy (EPIT or allergy patches) may become a new way to induce tolerance as peanut-allergic patients receive tiny doses of peanut proteins absorbed through patches placed on their skin. In this study, the peanut patch is known as Viaskin® Peanut. This international, double-blind, placebo controlled randominzed study, was funded by DBV Technologies.
Study subjects: Males and females ages 6 to 55 years old with peanut allergy were recruited. 221 peanut-allergic individuals were assigned to test 50µg, 100 µg, or 250 µg peanut patch doses (or placebo doses) for 1 year. The subjects (patients) underwent an oral peanut challenge at entry and at 1 year to determine their threshold of reactivity. The Viaskin® Patch was place on the upper arm. For most patients, about 1/2 peanut is likely to trigger symptoms.
Half of the patients who wore the 250 µg peanut patch daily for 1 year, were able to tolerate at least 1 gram of peanut protein (that is about 4 peanuts). This amount is 10 times the dose they tolerated at their entry oral peanut challenge.
Compliance was >95% and <1% of the participants dropped out of the study due to side effects. There were no serious side effects related to the patch treatment.
Overall, children treated with the 250 µg patch experienced a 19-fold increase in peanut-specific IgG4 levels, the antibody associated with protection following immunotherapy.
EPIT using the higher dose of peanut allergen appeared to be safe, well tolerated and effective. This treatment is not FDA approved but these early study results are promising news for families who suffer from peanut allergy.
At Family Allergy Asthma & Sinus Care, we keep you up-to-date on potential treatments on the horizon. Stay tuned!