Most of us don’t think particularly hard about what we eat – but for some people, eating the wrong foods can be a matter of life and death. Over a hundred people die from eating peanuts in the US every year due to severe allergic reactions, also known as anaphylactic shock. DBV-Technologies is one firm working to combat this condition, which affects hundreds of millions of people planet-wide.
Some of the solutions they are working on may be found on http://www.dbv-technologies.com/en/products/, which also gives a brief overview of the science behind them. The most promising avenue of development is the non-invasive – and therefore painless – Viaskin® patch. This delivers antigens to the immune system via the skin in a way that can ‘desensitize’ the body to these substances over time.
This method can be used to both treat and provide early diagnosis of allergies. As well as patches aimed specifically at peanut and dust mite allergies, a solution to cow’s milk allergy has also been developed.