Mechanism of Action

Our mechanism of action aims to target specific epidermal dendritic cells, called Langerhans cells. Pre-clinical research has shown that these cells capture antigens and migrate to the lymph node in order to activate the immune system without passage of the antigen into the bloodstream.

Our innovative EPIT® mechanism of action may have the potential to offer compelling clinical benefits to patients suffering from food allergies.

Our epicutaneous approach targeting Langerhans cells has the potential to induce an Immune reaction with a highly tolerogenic profile.

By delivering the allergen directly to the lymph node through the Langerhans cells, pre-clinical research has shown that EPIT® activates specific regulatory T cells (Tregs) that can down-regulate the Th2-oriented reaction to the allergen. The absence of passage of allergens into the bloodstream may result in a favorable safety and tolerability profile. 

Langerhans Cells

Our Viaskin® Patch may enable continuous antigen exposure which has the potential to promote sustained tolerization.

The Viaskin® patch contains allergen protein in its original antigenic state, which allows the skin to be continuously exposed to the allergen over time.

The safety profile and ease of use of Viaskin® may allow for the treatment of food allergies very early in life.

Because of its potential ease of use and safety profile, EPIT® may offer a treatment option for patients suffering from food allergies, including very young children. This approach, if used for an early treatment of allergies in children during the “window of opportunity,” could help prevent disease progression in these patients or the development of polyallergies.

Viaskin® Patch: Mechanism of Action

Phase 1

Containing a dry layer of allergen in its center, the patch is positioned on intact skin, without prior preparation.

Phase 2

The condensation chamber formed between the skin and the center of the patch creates hyperhydration of the skin and an accumulation of water.

Phase 3

The accumulation of water solubilizes the allergen. Due to this condensation chamber, the epidermis becomes more permeable allowing passage of the allergen into the epidermis.

Phase 4

Once in the epidermis, the allergen is captured by a population of highly specialized cells: Langerhans cells. These cells can take the protein at the surface of the skin, process it and present its epitopes to the lymphocytes in the lymph nodes.

Viaskin® targets the Unique Immunological Properties of Epicutaneous Langerhans Cells

Langerhans Cells

EPIT® can be applied in a broad range of immunotherapies

After the antigen has been presented to the T cells in the lymph node, it activates the Tregs, the main factor in the down-regulation of Th2 response, without causing any changes to Th1 expression. Th2 response is ultimately responsible for the production of IgE, which leads to allergic reactions. Sustained down-regulation of Th2 promotes long-term tolerance towards allergic exposure. 

Application of allergen onto intact skin by Viaskin® results in allergen delivery in the superficial layer of the skin without any diffuse passage neither in the dermis, the lymphatic system nor the bloodstream. In the epidermis, the allergen is uptaken by specialized immune cells, the Langerhans cells in the most superficial layer of the skin. After the capture of the allergen, Langerhans cells become active and migrate toward the draining lymph nodes where they induce immune modulations.