DBV-Technologies (www.dbv-technologies.com/en) has been developing a new allergy treatment with the potential to be a real game-changer. The Viaskin patch is a small adhesive patch that is worn on the skin and contains very small amounts of an active compound (the allergen), which it releases slowly into the body.
In the picture below you can see how the patch is composed. Each layer has its part to play, from the titanium backing which works in tandem with the electrospray to ensure that the active compounds on the patch stay firmly in place, to the adhesive cover and over adhesive. Critical to the success of the patch is the ‘condensation chamber’ that is formed between the patch and skin. This solubilizes the allergen in the patch and helps it to pass through the skin and into the Langerhans cells, which are the body’s most tolerogenic antigen-presenting cells. As this method is based on the delivery of antigens to the skin, rather than to the bloodstream as would be the case in an immunotherapy program of treatment based on injections, it’s known as an epicutaneous immunotherapy approach.