Epicutaneous immunotherapy delivered by way of a patch has been found safe in a preliminary study of patients with peanut allergy (PA).

In a research letter, 100 subjects aged 6-50 years – 70 children and adults with nonsevere PA and 30 adults with severe PA – were enrolled in a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled phase Ib study at five clinical sites in the United States.

“The purpose of this study was to evaluate the safety and tolerability of peanut EPIT (epicutaneous immunotherapy) when the new Viaskin Peanut patch (DBV Technologies, Bagneux, France) is applied on intact skin of subjects with PA,” noted Dr. Stacie M. Jones of University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences and Arkansas Children’s Hospital, Little Rock, and her associates.

Of those who received peanut EPIT, 42 of 80 (53%) reported at least one treatment-emergent adverse event; 41% were mild and 11% were moderate in severity. For those who received placebo, 9 of 20 (45%) reported at least one adverse event; 30% were mild and 15% were moderate in severity. There were no severe adverse events, and 48% of those treated with peanut EPIT and 55% of those treated with placebo reported no adverse events, the researchers wrote. Four of the 100 subjects withdrew from the study.

Peanut EPIT administered through the novel Viaskin delivery system on intact skin is safe and well tolerated, with high adherence by study participants, Dr. Jones and her associates concluded ( J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2016 April. doi: 10.1016/j.jaci.2016.01.008 ).