A peanut patch is being developed by DBV Technologies for peanut allergy. Peanut allergy affects up to 2.2% of the children in the United States, equating up to 1.6 million children. Those with peanut allergy report the highest rates of anaphylaxis and severe reactions. Peanut allergy children have more ER visits compared to other children with food allergies.
Avoidance of peanut is very difficult because of its widespread consumption. Despite strict avoidance, many peanut allergy children still react when ingesting a minimal amount of peanut protein.
Epicutaneous immunotherapy (EPIT) is among several immunotherapies currently under investigation for the potential treatment of peanut allergy. EPIT is a novel desensitization approach that harnesses specialized epidermal and dermal cells that allows for ultra-low doses of peanut protein (1/1000 of a peanut daily) to be delivered to the immune system via the skin.
A recent study published in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, followed up peanut-allergy children who have received 3 years of treatment with DBV712 250 micrograms. The results inclued:
- Daily EPIT treatment for peanut allergy beyond 1 year led to continued response, with approximately 52% of children improving their threshold of reactivity to greater than 1000 mg of peanut protein and approximately 76% demonstrating an increased level of desensitization.
- High compliance and low discontinuation rates were seen, with low rates of adverse benefits. Local patch site reactions were common but decreased over time. There was no treatment-related epinephrine use in years 2 or 3. Compliance was high (97%) and withdrawals were low (1%).
This past year, the FDA approved the first treatment of peanut allergy, Palforzia.
Palforzia requires oral administration in an allergists office and there are significantly higher adverse events compared to the peanut patch. Although further studies will need to be done to show whether or not the peanut patch is efficacious enough for FDA approval.
Of note, the peanut patch nor Palforzia is indicated for patients to eat peanut, it is to prevent reactions for unintended ingestion of peanut protein. Further studies are underway.