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A non-antibiotic treatment for Acne and Onychomycosis

Acne affects over 9 % of the population, rendering it the eighth most prevalent disease worldwide. An innovative formulation is set to revolutionise disease treatment, avoiding antibiotics-related adverse effects.

Conventional treatments for acne usually cause intolerable side effects such as skin irritation, limiting patient compliance and medication efficacy. In some cases, antibiotic treatment may lead to bacterial resistance, further decreasing therapy efficiency with obvious psychological consequences for patients.

Innovative chemistry

To address this challenge, the EU-funded GREEN LINE project developed an innovative anti-infectious solution for the treatment of acne. “Our aim was to provide a more effective alternative to conventional acne treatments which are based on antibiotics,″ explains project coordinator and chief scientific officer of Mavena International, Dr Manuel Vögtli. Mavena International is a Swiss company with a portfolio of treatments against skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis.

The GREEN LINE solution is based on oxygen radicals, biological products known for their antimicrobial activity. It combines a unique formulation of different percarboxylic acids (peracids) and a stabilising polymer. Peracids destroy microbial enzymes and other proteins fundamental to bacterial growth, rapidly inducing cell death. Importantly, the patented GREEN LINE composition damages the metabolic products of microbes such as biotoxins, endotoxins as well as allergens. As a result, the product is suitable as a disinfectant of the skin and mucous membranes.

The novel treatment promises to destroy bacteria, fungi and viruses through a physical process. “Our approach is also suitable for treating common fungal nail infections, a condition known as onychomycosis,″ continues Dr Vögtli. A prototype version of the product tested in a proof of concept study on a small number of people suffering from onychomycosis, led to elimination of the fungal infection within a few weeks.

Stability challenges

Formulation stability is paramount especially when patients use the product at home. Peracids, the reactive substances in the product, are very unstable chemically. As a result, formulation effectiveness declines over time due to the decomposition of the active compounds, posing a challenge in terms of product stability.

According to Dr Vögtli, the most significant achievement of the project is the addition of a polymer to the mixture, which leads to formulation stabilisation. It remains to be confirmed that this stabilisation also works in an over-the-counter product, under real-life conditions and for a long period of time. Nonetheless, this modification alongside optimisation of the final packaging has the capacity to enhance product performance and stability.

The road ahead

During the project, partners have performed a thorough analysis of the targeted markets and elaborated a business plan to launch the GREEN LINE product. They speculate that the product will undergo speedy regulatory approval as a class III medical device and not through a laborious process as a medicinal product.

Mavena have a financial plan that shows positive figures and recommends product commercialisation by 2021. They have also established a pricing policy and identified the target audience where dissemination activities should be targeted.

GREEN LINE has a number of advantages compared to current solutions due to its high efficacy and absence of antibiotics. Dr Vögtli is confident that “this novel formulation will not only reduce the emergence of microbial resistance but will improve treatment adherence, leading to a new option for acne therapy.″

Reference source: A non-antibiotic treatment for Acne and Onychomycosis

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