The founding members of UB –CARE own a registered Italian patent n. MI2013A001094 on the method and device ALLERPRED.
The patent relates to a method useful to identify potential reactions of contact dermatitis to cosmetics and substances for skin care , avoiding the application of the substance itself to the skin.
Contact dermatitis due to cosmetics or cosmetics ingredients has a prevalence that oscillates from 1-3% to 2-4% up to 10% in different studies, but the real percentage is probably much higher because a lot of reactions are often mild, transient, and bearable, and are solved by simply no longer using or changing the product that caused the reaction.
The test used as a gold standard for its diagnosis is the patch/prick test . However , the test results may be affected by the age of the patient, the sensitivity to histamine, by the presence of diseases such as cancer, immune deficiency, and use of drugs, in particular corticosteroids. In addition, as the assay requires the application of the substance to the skin, patients may develop an extended local reaction, and, occasionally, systemic reactions, although the latter is a rare event. For all these reasons the assay requires a dedicated and equipped environment, like a hospital.
The same consideration applies to the counting of total IgE in blood samples from patients, whose results are in addition often difficult to interpret and hampered by a high variability between laboratories.
On the opposite, the method proposed in our patent (from which a portable device will be derived) does not require direct application of the substance to the skin of the person. In fact, through a simple and virtually painless blood sampling of a very low quantity of blood from the finger, it will be able, on the basis of our preliminary data, to provide a clear and, above all, customized answer about the specific allergic potential of a cosmetic for the skin of a specific person: in this way it could be marketed and used directly where cosmetic products are sold, such as pharmacies or perfumeries.
The project is going to enter the development and validation phase. We are open to collaborations and investments both concerning the production of the device connected to the method and the sharing or transfer of the patent.