There Might Be a Cure for a Peanut Allergy
Peanut is one of the most common food allergy triggers. Severe peanut allergies affect around 6 million people in the United States and Europe. It is especially common among children, as more than 2 million kids are allergic to this legume.
The most frequently occurring symptoms of a peanut allergy include tightness in the throat, tingling or itching sensation in the mouth or throat, runny nose, shortness of breath, wheezing, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, as well as skin reactions like redness or hives.
Is It Possible to Prevent a Reaction to Peanuts?
Recently, a French biotechnology company called DBV Technologies SA has developed a peanut allergy patch, which is now being reviewed by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
DBV’s new product is called Viaskin, and it is a small disk that you should put on your arm or between your shoulder blades. The mechanism of action of Viaskin is similar to that of a vaccine: your immune system is exposed to tiny doses of peanut protein, which helps develop immunity. This patch is supposed to reduce the risk of severe allergic reaction caused by accidental exposure to peanuts, meaning it might be saving lives in the future.
If the FDA approves Viaskin, it will be available for sale in the second half of this year. Although a last-year study showed somewhat disappointing results concerning the effectiveness of the patch, Viaskin can receive the FDA approval and be further used as part of allergy treatment in children with peanut allergy. In addition, since Viaskin has received the breakthrough-therapy and fast-track FDA designations, the review process is supposed to go more rapidly.
However, the Viaskin patch is not the only upcoming potential cure for peanut allergy. Another product is being developed by the drug company Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc. and Aimmune Therapeutics Inc., which focuses on designing food allergy treatments.