Allergies not a patch on DBV

By Katrina Megget

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Immune system

DBV Technologies is advancing into the realm of allergy treatment
and vaccine delivery using its Viaskin technology, which has
already proved successful as an allergy diagnostic.

The French company has proceeded into a multi-centre Phase II trial for milk allergy treatment with Phase II studies for grass pollen, dust mite and peanuts expected to begin in the second half of next year.

Preclinical studies for epicutaneous vaccine delivery are underway.

The move into drug delivery follows the success of the company's milk allergy diagnostic Diallertest Milk, which was launched in France in mid-2004, with DBV now expecting various other allergy diagnostics to be launched in the next two years.

The diagnostic, allergy desensitisation treatment and vaccine delivery system all use the company's Viaskin technology which develops a skin patch for the delivery of the chosen substance.

The patch for allergy treatment would be the first on the market to present a non-blood stream allergen treatment.

Current desensitisation treatments for allergies, such as hayfever or dust mite, involve invasive administration in order to present the allergen into the blood stream.

But such treatments cannot be used for food allergies because of the threat of anaphylactic shock.

DBV's technology delivers the allergen to the immune cells of the epidermis, bypassing the bloodstream and reducing the risk of anaphylactic shock.

The technology works whereby the application of Viaskin to the skin creates an occlusive chamber that rapidly generates moisture, releasing the active ingredient from its support and triggering skin pore dilation.

The active compound is first solubilised then absorbed through the skin where it interacts with Langerhans immune cells present in the epidermis.

DBV is developing vaccine programmes for Hepatitis A and B, Meningitis, influenza, anthrax and therapeutic oncology vaccines.

As a vaccine delivery system, Viaskin would be 100 per cent needle-free, vaccination would be painless, there would be a reduced risk of transmission of blood-borne infections, and the technology elicits systemic, mucosal and cellular immunity.

The biopharmaceutical company has recently moved its operational facilities to central Paris, while maintaining its registered site in Boulogne on the outskirts of Paris.

DBV will run all R&D operations from the new location.

The company has also announced an exclusive multi-annual promotion and distribution agreement for Diallertest Milk with distributor Numico to increase the product's international visibility.

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