Fundamental Research Division
The DRF at the CEA assemble approximately 6,000 scientists since January 2016.
Industrial partnerships | Epigenetics
DBV Technologies, creator of the Viaskin® patch for
allergy treatment, has signed a collaborative agreement with the Centre
National de Génotypage of the CEA-IG, to understand the epigenetic
mechanisms of this treatment.
Epigenetic mechanisms are modifications to the hereditary structure
(e.g. DNA methylation) that modulate the expression of genes without
affecting their sequence, and which can be transmitted during cell division. In
collaboration with DBV Technologies, the team of Jörg Tost at the Centre
National de Génotypage (CNG) of the CEA-IG will characterize the epigenetic
modifications induced by Viaskin®. This is an allergy treatment by
epicutaneous immunotherapy, which involves the controlled administration
of allergens in the skin. The purpose is to understand the maintenance over time
of the treatment effect and the predictive value of the response to Viaskin®.
Preliminary experiments conducted by DBV have shown that Viaskin® could induce a
modification to the DNA methylation state, and therefore have lasting effects.
“The modulation of the immune system through epigenetic modifications has
become one of the principal subjects in our laboratory”, explains Jörg Tost.
“This partnership with DBV Technologies is an application of the analysis of
DNA methylation in the context of a pharmaceutical product, a sector in which
the aspect of epigenetic gene regulation is under-researched.” Beyond
understanding the cellular mechanisms of cutaneous immunotherapy and the induced
epigenetic mechanisms, this work should make it possible in time to safely treat
allergy patients, even the most vulnerable (such as young children) and those
that suffer from the most severe allergies (such as peanut allergy.
CEA is a French government-funded technological research organisation in four main areas: low-carbon energies, defense and security, information technologies and health technologies. A prominent player in the European Research Area, it is involved in setting up collaborative projects with many partners around the world.