Almirall announces dermatological research collaboration

Published: 7-Apr-2022

Dr John Foerster at the University of Dundee is researching a proprietary immune-based treatment for chronic inflammatory conditions

Almirall, a global biopharmaceutical company focused on skin health, has announced a research collaboration with the University of Dundee, to develop a novel approach against chronic debilitating dermatology diseases where itch, or pruritus, plays a dominant role.

The collaboration aims to build on a proprietary immune-based treatment for chronic inflammatory conditions being developed by Dr John Foerster’s team at the university. The partnership aims to control the itch associated with skin conditions, achieving a prolonged and deep therapeutic effect for patients. Itch represents one of the most bothersome symptoms in a number of dermatological diseases and has a huge impact on patients’ quality of life.

"Pruritus plays a key role in many skin diseases. An example of an inflammatory skin condition where itch is dominant is prurigo nodularis, but itch can play a role in many skin diseases. We also have what is called senile pruritus, largely suffered by elderly people, which is not well understood and for which current treatments are insufficient. The advantage of the new approach over current treatments using the administration of therapeutic antibodies would be the lower frequency of dosing while achieving a deeper therapeutic effect”, said Dr John Foerster, Clinical Senior Lecturer at The University of Dundee.

“We are very excited to start this collaboration with a leading academic group. This early academic engagement with world-renowned innovator Dr. John Foerster and his team will explore novel differentiated treatment approaches with disease modifying potential. It underlines Almirall’s commitment to help patients suffering from severe skin diseases achieve their dream of leading a healthy life”, said Dr Thomas Huber, Research Director at Almirall.

The partners have been collaborating since late 2020 to identify and develop a class of drugs that target and degrade disease-causing proteins.

This collaboration is part of an Almirall initiative to boost innovation in dermatology by promoting collaborations with centres of excellence, such as the recently announced partnership with the University of Michigan.

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