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Almirall and Inserm Transfert to develop innovative vitiligo treatments

Vitiligo is a chronic skin condition that affects patients worldwide

Almirall

Global biopharmaceutical company, Almirall, and Inserm Transfert – the private subsidiary of the French National Institute of Health and Medical Research (Inserm) – have announced plans to collaborate under a new licencing agreement.

The companies will work together to advance treatment options for people living with vitiligo, develop a more in-depth understanding of dermatological diseases and allow further access to new technologies and the discovery of new therapeutic approaches.

As a chronic skin condition that affects 0.5 to 2% of the worldwide population, vitiligo is associated with a loss of pigmentation and the visibility of patients’ lesions is often seen as disfiguring and a burden.

As a result, patients can experience a high level of psychological impact, alongside treatment needs. Vitiligo remains a neglected market with a high unmet medical need for treatments, particularly for patients’ hands.

The collaboration agreement, signed by Inserm Transfert on behalf of Inserm, Centre Hospitalier Universitaire of Nice and University of Nice Côte d’Azur, aims to identify and develop a novel class of medicines that modulate a key target involved in skin repigmentation, the Wnt pathway.

According to the terms of the agreement, Almirall has received global rights to Inserm’s background patents on the use of Wnt agonists in the treatment of vitiligo.

Inserm Transfert’s involvement in this deal is part of Almirall’s SHINE initiative, which was launched to drive innovation in dermatology by putting a spotlight on collaborations with centres of excellence. Examples of this have included the partnerships with the University of Dundee and the University of Michigan.

Professor Thierry Passeron and his team at the Mediterranean Centre for Molecular Medicine will work with the partnership. Professor Passeron has spearheaded research in vitiligo and will combine this with Almirall's background in drug discovery to identify and develop new topical compounds for the treatment of vitiligo.

Karl Ziegelbauer, chief scientific officer at Almirall, said: “Vitiligo can have a huge impact on patients' quality of life. We are pleased to announce this new collaboration with a centre of excellence such as Inserm to develop innovative treatments for this skin condition. This milestone once again demonstrates Almirall's commitment to improving the lives of patients in an underserved disease where there are still significant unmet needs.”

Article by
Fleur Jeffries

18th May 2022

From: Research, Healthcare

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