Wearable device appears to ‘educate’ cells not to react to the food allergen, researchers say
MONDAY, Feb. 23, 2015 (HealthDay News) — A wearable patch that safely and gradually exposes the body to small amounts of peanut allergen appears effective in easing the allergy, an early new study shows. The findings were scheduled to be presented at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology, held from Feb. 20 to 24 in Houston.
The multi-national, double-blind, placebo controlled randomized phase IIb trial involved 221 people, ages 6 to 55, with peanut allergy. The researchers tried varying patch doses to see which was most effective. In addition, some participants were given a placebo. Half of the participants wore the Viaskin patch for a year, and by the end of that time they were able to tolerate at least 1 gram of peanut protein — about four peanuts.
The patch appears safe: More than 95 percent of study participants used the patch as directed, and less than 1 percent dropped out due to adverse effects, according to the researchers. The patch was most effective in children, meaning that larger doses may be needed for adults, lead researcher Hugh Sampson, M.D., director of the Jaffe Food Allergy Institute at Kravis Children’s Hospital at Mount Sinai in New York City, told HealthDay. He added that it will take several years — and larger trials — before the patch may be approved for use.
Even the levels of peanut tolerance attained in a year “would protect you from small contaminations like at a restaurant or at a party,” Sampson said. “And you wouldn’t have to worry about labels that say, ‘May contain peanut.'”
The study was funded by DBV technologies, which is developing the Viaskin Peanut patch.
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