Derm-Biome Pharmaceuticals, Massachusetts General Hospital Partner for Skin Cancer Study of New Topical Rx


The new topical selectively induces cell death in cancer cells , while essentially completely sparing normal cells.

Derm-Biome Pharmaceuticals Inc. is collaborating with Massachusetts General Hospital for a study looking at Derm-Biome’s second-generation topical treatment for precancerous skin conditions and non-melanoma skin cancers.

The topical is highly selective for cancer cells while being well-tolerated by normal skin.

“My lab previously treated primary patient-derived squamous cell carcinoma cells and normal keratinocytes with a Derm-Biome compound. The results were very exciting,” says. Anna Mandinova, MD, Associate Professor, Harvard Medical School, and Associate Director of the Massachusetts General Hospital Cutaneous Biology Research Center.  “The Derm-Biome compound performed better than the chemotherapeutic drugs we used in the past and the current standard of care. It demonstrated high selectivity for tumor cells and low toxicity for non-lesional cells. We look forward to working with Derm-Biome on this exciting collaboration, as there is a critical unmet clinical need for the development of new treatments for squamous cell carcinoma of the skin.”

Dr. Poul Sorensen, Derm-Biome CSO, Professor, Department of Pathology, University of British Columbia, adds “This very interesting natural product-derived compound selectively induces cell death in cancer cells by triggering a process called apoptosis, while essentially completely sparing normal cells, which appear to be resistant to the drug.” 

Chemotherapy creams have been topical  treatment mainstays for precancerous skin conditions for more than 60 years, says Derm-Biome CEO Gordon Eberwein. “These creams work, but they typically have considerable side effects. We see a significant opportunity in bringing a safe and highly effective topical skin cancer medication to the market.”

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