Milk and peanut allergy patch – potential cure?

Could there be a cure for peanut and dairy allergy? Those of us with one or multiple allergies often dream of a world where our allergies could be cured forever but it’s a long way off.

We all know that there are a myriad of tiny things that can help stabilise and improve life for people with eczema, asthma and allergies, but there isn’t a cure. Desensitisation can offer hope to a handful of allergic kids at at Cambridge hospital; it’s amazing what they have done but realistically this treatment is a long way off for the masses of people with life threatening allergies out there. One day there may be treatment on the NHS to densenitise allergic kids and adults but not for many years or further testing.

Could there be a peanut and milk allergy patch?

Maybe it’s not so far off. A company called DBV Technologies, a French biotech company are developing an allergy treatment patch called Viaskin for milk and peanut allergies. The company has announced it completed Phase I of its trial for Viaskin Milk and is awaiting protocol approval from regulators to begin Phase II.

DBV Technologies’ trial, the Viaskin MILk Efficacy and Safety Phase I/II study (MILES), began in November 2014 with its first patient. The trial was designed to test the safety and efficacy of Viaskin Milk for patients allergic to cow’s milk protein between the ages of two to 17.

The Data Safety Monitoring Board for the trial recommended continuation of the study and indicated it has no concerns following evaluation of data from Phase I. Phase II of this two part trial will launch later this year pending review of Phase I data by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration and approval by U.S. and Canadian regulators of a revised trial protocol.

The allergy treatment being administered as part of this trial is unique to DBV Technologies—the company has developed a patch it calls Viaskin to desensitize patients to allergens using a proprietary immunotherapy method called epicutaneous immunotherapy. Using the Viaskin patch, allergens can enter the immune system without entering the bloodstream, reducing the occurrence of severe allergic reactions.

This clinical trial for Viaskin Milk combines phases I and II—it is being conducted just in the U.S. and Canada and it includes children as young as two years of age. To give you some context for the significance of this particular allergy, a milk allergy is the first to be developed in infancy and the most common for babies and young children: approximately 2-3% of the general population is affected by this allergy.

DBV Technologies’ other patch in development, Viaskin Peanut, is expected to go into Phase III of its clinical trial in the fourth quarter of 2015.

Getting rid of allergies for good…

Could there really be a patch that could cure peanut and dairy allergies? Could your allergy to milk be a thing of the past?

Could we really see the back of life threatening allergies and anaphylaxis for good?

We can dream about a life freefrom allergies but I do suspect it’s a long way off just yet. But maybe, just maybe, in my lifetime, it could just happen. This kind of research gives us all hope.

You can find out more about the peanut and milk patch trial here.

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About Ruth

Ruth works freelance as a copywriter and writes the What Allergy blog to share information with people who have allergies, eczema, asthma and food intolerances. http://www.whatallergy.com was voted in the top 5 allergy blogs and Ruth also judges regularly for the FreeFrom Food Awards and FreeFrom Skincare Awards. She also won the Foods You Can People's choice Best FreeFrom blogger award 2014.

Comments

  1. Ken Keene says:

    Nicotine patches have been shown to work well and precisely control addition rates to the body. With this technology I can well believe that a precise dosage rate of the allergen can be achieved. Immunotherapy is an established technique so I can see no reason why this wouldn’t work.

  2. Hmm. If I drink a cup of tea and kiss my milk-allergic son, he instantly comes up in hives at the site of the kiss. That doesn’t carry a risk of anaphylaxis (which he has if he ingests milk) but will the patch cause eczema and other allergic skin conditions, which come with their own attendant health issues? I’ll watch this with interest, because if there’s a patch that can help Gabriel (and he’s allergic to milk and peanuts), I’ll be there and signed up the minute it’s available!

    • I think the patch will be such a low dose it should not cause a reaction but it’s not clear from the information above or on their website. And I know what you mean, my two worst allergies are the peanuts and dairy. I am allergic to other nuts too but if I could just eliminate these two it would be incredible. Oh cheese… I sooooooooooooo miss cheese. At least little kids who are born with the allergy don’t know any different. I use to eat cheese, admittedly I had chronic eczema which took years to be diagnose as dairy being the culprit. I think I’m glad I have known the taste of extra mature cheddar though. And I do miss natural yogurt and butter. One day Nicky… one day… we will all be normal again.

      • Gabriel has never tasted real dairy (apart from the mouthful that caused anaphylaxis at 8 months). I know damn well that if he had one taste of cheese, yoghurt or chocolate cake it would be tickets for the “I can’t believe it’s not…” range of soya, rice, potato etc. based replacements he currently eats. But normal? Hmm. I have a theory (entirely mine, entirely half-baked, and no science behind it) that kids like Gabe – and you are clearly an early prototype 🙂 – are the next step in human evolution. Maybe our bodies are rejecting unsustainable eating. We’re the only animals eating dairy post weaning; maybe we shouldn’t be. Maybe a lot of allergies are the result of all the soya, peanut and other stuff we’ve packed into commercially processed foods over the last couple of decades. Maybe if we all ate like allergic kids – fresh, local meat and veg in season, cooked from scratch – we’d all be a lot healthier. Or maybe I think about it all too much. (And does my thinking cause me to give up mature cheddar, runny Camembert or large daily lattes? Of course not. I just try do enjoy them when Gabe’s not looking!)

        • This is exactly what I think too… I’ve read stuff about allergies giving you some protection against certain cancers too, the thinking being that the ‘allergic’ body is rejecting and ejecting the free radicals and nasty things it doesn’t want inside, causing an allergic reaction and cessation of consuming that kind of food in the person who can’t live with the reactions. My diet is almost cave man sometimes with the odd blip for certain processed food which has very clean ingredients… oh and wine!

          I love the idea that my body is somehow of some higher order. I feel very smug now. Off to consume a large bowl of gluten free oats with fruit, seeds and oat milk. I didn’t milk the oat though.

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