Speed Reads

pass the peanuts

Researchers are a step closer to managing peanut allergies

An experimental patch aimed at reducing allergic reactions to peanuts has researchers excited about further trials, AFP reports. Phase two of testing involved monitoring three groups wearing Viaskin Peanut patches that dispensed different doses of peanut protein while a fourth group wore a placebo. The highest dosage of the protein helped half the patients; the placebo helped one quarter.

The sample size of the treatment groups was described by its lead, Hugh Sampson of Mount Sinai, as "relatively small," and a phase three will explore further responses to the highest dose patch.

DBV Technologies missed the primary endpoint for the Viaskin Peanut patch in October, which is "the bar that typically means the difference between a marketable drug and one that isn't," CNN Money reports. The company's stock dropped more than 50 percent after the result while a competitor working on a peanut allergy "vaccine" saw its stock jump 33 percent.

Around 2 percent of American children are allergic to peanuts and can experience anaphylactic shock from even minimal exposure to the nut.