Anti-wrinkle treatment could also be answer to skin cancer

By Simon Pitman

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Skin cancer Dna Fda

AGI Dermatics says it is testing a new drug, Dimericine, which it
claims can be incorporated into anti-ageing and sunscreen products
as a means of repairing uv-related damage already apparent in the

The US-based company says that the drug is currently undergoing clinical trials aimed at meeting with US FDA approval, which, it is hoped, will eventually meet with regulation requirements world-wide.

AGI Dermatics​ has already presented its research into the technology at the Society of Investigative Dermatology Annual Meeting, in St. Louis, Missouri, back in May of this year. At the time the company said that Dimericine was a breakthrough cream developed to repair damage to the skin's DNA caused by exposure to various environmental hazards.

In a subsequently published research paper about the drug, the company said that initial findings show that the drug could be particularly useful to people that are susceptible to skin cancers, especially those of fair coloring and individuals who undergo immunsuppresive treatments.

In another presentation given at the same meeting, Angelika Hofer from the Department of Dermatology at the Medical University of Graz, Austria, explained the results of clinical studies for AGI's liposomal.

The study included a group of patients suffering from the common skin disease Polymorphus Light Eruoption, which leads to a an accute sensitivity to sunlight. The patients were exposed to UV rays using a sunscreen containing the DNA repair enzymes, contrasted by a group that used normal sunscreen.

Hofer said that the results of the study showed that solar UV damage was signficantly lessened when patients were protected from exposure with lotion containing Dimericine.

In a separate study a group of patients suffering from Xeroderma Pigmentosum, a rare genetic disease that makes people more susceptible to skin cancer, was treated with the lotion. The tests showed that a third fewer skin cancers and pre-cancer lesions were reduced by two thirds.

Dr Daniel Yarosh, president of AGI Dermatics, explained about the technology and the problems the company faces in developing it: "A bacterial enzyme - T4 endonuclease V - has been known for decades to repair damaged DNA strands in a test tube. The challenge was getting that enzyme into the nucleus of the skin cell, where its genetic material resides."

Yarosh, a molecular biologist, says that he and his colleagues at Applied Genetics in Freeport, New York, accomplished this feat by enveloping T4 endonuclease V in a fat bubble called T4N5 liposome, which can penetrate a skin cell.

The company says that it is expecting a ruling from the FDA in the near future. If approved it is expected that the technology will be used in topical formulations for people already suffering from skin cancer and those at particularly high risk of developing the disease.

FDA approval for anti-ageing treatments will probably prove to be the next step, but getting around prescription requirements will be another hurdle for the company.

However, skin specialists have voiced concern over the treatment, claiming it might give the idea to high risk groups that sun exposure might not be dangerous for them any more. Whilst welcoming its potential benefits, they say that the drug might develop a 'morning after' approach to skin damage, masking the fact that avoiding sun burn is the key means to skin cancer prevention.

Related topics Formulation & Science Skin Care

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