Our investigational therapeutic treatment is based on epicutaneous immunotherapy, or EPIT®. This potential new class of immunotherapy is designed to work by delivering allergens to the immune system through intact skin using our proprietary Viaskin® technology.
For those patients facing potentially life-threatening food allergies, this potential immunotherapy treatment aims to desensitize them to allergens by delivering compounds in small quantities into the outer layers of the skin.
In our pre-clinical trials, Viaskin was evaluated to determine if it provided allergenic information to the immune system.
Once applied to skin, Viaskin was designed to create a condensation chamber that hydrates the skin and solubilizes the allergen allowing it to penetrate the epidermis.
The solubilized antigen is then supposed to be captured by the Langerhans cells in the epidermis, thereby limiting the allergen’s exposure to the bloodstream.
Our investigational EPIT 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.
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.
Our Viaskin technology platform is being investigated to determine if it would enable continuous antigen exposure to potentially promote sustained desensitization. Viaskin contains allergen protein in its original state, which may allow the skin to be continuously exposed to the allergen over time.
Containing a dry layer of allergen in its center, the patch is positioned on intact skin.
The condensation chamber formed between the skin and the center of the patch creates hydration of the skin and an accumulation of water.
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.
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.