Study suggests patch is safe, convenient mode of treatment for peanut allergy

October 26, 2016, National Institutes of Health
Viaskin Peanut patch used in the NIH-sponsored clinical trial. The Viaskin Peanut patch has not been approved by the FDA. Credit: DBV Technologies, Copyright 2016

A wearable patch that delivers small amounts of peanut protein through the skin shows promise for treating children and young adults with peanut allergy, with greater benefits for younger children, according to one-year results from an ongoing clinical trial. The treatment, called epicutaneous immunotherapy or EPIT, was safe and well-tolerated, and nearly all participants used the skin patch daily as directed.

The ongoing trial is sponsored by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health, and conducted by the NIAID-funded Consortium of Food Allergy Research (CoFAR), which is led by Hugh Sampson, M.D., of Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York. Stacie Jones, M.D., of the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences and Arkansas Children's Hospital, chairs the study. One-year outcomes are published online on October 26 in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology.

"To avoid potentially life-threatening allergic reactions, people with must be vigilant about the foods they eat and the environments they enter, which can be very stressful," said NIAID Director Anthony S. Fauci, M.D. "One goal of experimental approaches such as epicutaneous immunotherapy is to reduce this burden by training the immune system to tolerate enough peanut to protect against accidental ingestion or exposure."

CoFAR researchers at five study sites randomly assigned 74 peanut-allergic volunteers aged 4 to 25 years to treatment with either a high-dose (250 micrograms peanut protein), low-dose (100 micrograms peanut protein), or placebo patch. The investigators assessed peanut allergy at the beginning of the study with a supervised, oral food challenge with peanut-containing food. The patches were developed and provided by the biopharmaceutical company DBV Technologies under the trade name Viaskin. Each day, study participants applied a new patch to their arm or between their shoulder blades.

After one year, researchers assessed each participant's ability to consume at least 10 times more than he or she was able to consume before starting EPIT. The low-dose and high-dose regimens offered similar benefits, with 46 percent of the low-dose group and 48 percent of the high-dose group achieving treatment success, compared with 12 percent of the placebo group. In addition, the peanut patches induced immune responses similar to those seen with other investigational forms of immunotherapy for . Investigators observed greater treatment effects among children aged 4 to 11 years, with significantly less effect in participants aged 12 years and older.

"The clinical benefit seen in younger children highlights the promise of this innovative approach to treating peanut allergy," said Daniel Rotrosen, M.D., director of NIAID's Division of Allergy, Immunology and Transplantation (DAIT). "Epicutaneous immunotherapy aims to engage the immune system in the skin to train the body to tolerate small amounts of allergen, whereas other recent advances have relied on an oral route that appears difficult for approximately 10 to 15 percent of children and adults to tolerate."

Nearly all of the followed the EPIT regimen as directed. None reported serious reactions to the patch, although most experienced mild skin reactions, such as itching or rash, at the site of patch application.

"The high adherence to the daily peanut patch regimen suggests that the patch is easy-to-use, convenient and safe," said Marshall Plaut, chief of DAIT's Food Allergy, Atopic Dermatitis and Allergic Mechanisms Section. "The results of this study support further investigation of epicutaneous immunotherapy as a novel approach for peanut allergy treatment."

Explore further: Oral immunotherapy is safe, effective for peanut-allergic preschoolers, study suggests

More information: Stacie M. Jones et al. Epicutaneous immunotherapy for the treatment of peanut allergy in children and young adults, Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology (2016). DOI: 10.1016/j.jaci.2016.08.017

Related Stories

Oral immunotherapy is safe, effective for peanut-allergic preschoolers, study suggests

August 10, 2016
Nearly 80 percent of peanut-allergic preschool children successfully incorporated peanut-containing foods into their diets after receiving peanut oral immunotherapy (OIT), a clinical trial has found. Peanut OIT involves eating ...

Skin patch shows promise in easing peanut allergy

February 23, 2015
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.

Anaphylaxis risk up for siblings of peanut allergic children

June 14, 2016
(HealthDay)—The risk of anaphylaxis is increased upon peanut introduction in siblings of children with peanut allergy, according to a study published online June 13 in Allergy.

Study suggests potential to predict peanut allergy immunotherapy outcomes

January 25, 2016
Oral immunotherapy for peanut allergy induces early, distinct changes in immune T-cell populations that potentially may help researchers determine which people will respond well to the therapy and which immune mechanisms ...

Patch to treat peanut allergies to get expedited FDA review

April 14, 2015
A medical skin patch tested by Seattle-area doctors and families to treat dangerous peanut allergies in children will receive accelerated regulatory review, officials said Thursday.

Recommended for you

Doctors may be able to enlist a mysterious enzyme to stop internal bleeding

August 14, 2018
Blood platelets are like the sand bags of the body. Got a cut? Platelets pile in to clog the hole and stop the bleeding.

Chemicals found in vegetables prevent colon cancer in mice

August 14, 2018
Chemicals produced by vegetables such as kale, cabbage and broccoli could help to maintain a healthy gut and prevent colon cancer, a new study from the Francis Crick Institute shows.

Researchers artificially generate immune cells integral to creating cancer vaccines

August 14, 2018
For the first time, Mount Sinai researchers have identified a way to make large numbers of immune cells that can help prevent cancer reoccurrence, according to a study published in August in Cell Reports.

The medicine of the future against infection and inflammation?

August 13, 2018
Researchers at Lund University in Sweden, have in collaboration with colleagues in Copenhagen and Singapore, mapped how the body's own peptides act to reduce infection and inflammation by deactivating the toxic substances ...

During HIV infection, antibody can block B cells from fighting pathogens

August 13, 2018
For the first time, scientists have shown that in certain people living with HIV, a type of antibody called immunoglobulin G3 (IgG3) stops the immune system's B cells from doing their normal job of fighting pathogens. This ...

Link between common 'harmless' virus and cardiovascular damage

August 13, 2018
Researchers from Brighton and Sussex Medical School (BSMS) have found an unexpectedly close link between a herpes virus and the occurrence of immune cells damaging cardiovascular tissue.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.