The Viaskin patch, developed by French doctor Pierre-Henri Benhamou and his team, has begun the process of entering the U.S. market. The French team opened the U.S.-based offshoot of their company on Nasdaq with an initial public offering in order to expand into the Americas.
The Viaskin patch is currently being fast tracked through testing by the Food and Drug Administration. If approved, it will begin sales in the U.S. as a prescription for allergists to offer patients. The goal of the patch is not to "cure" peanut allergies, but instead to allow the majority of its users to be less vigilant about what they do or do not eat. Benhamou told Forbes that the outcome he wishes to see is that most patients will be able to eat products with a "may contain" warning without fear.
The Viaskin peanut patch is just the first of many such patches that the company plans to produce once trails of this method prove effective. Most food allergies are based on similar protein reactions and Benhamou and his team believe they can make patches for the majority of them. The new company, DBV Technologies, raised $93 million in their IPO this week despite trading at below its initial offering price. Most of the money will be used to finish the FDA approval process and develop future products already in the works.