Almirall, S.A. (ALM), a global biopharmaceutical company focused on skin health has today announced that “It has collaborated with the University of Michigan to accelerate the understanding of the factors that trigger hidradenitis suppurativa, a chronic and inflammatory skin condition.”
Through this partnership, Almirall’s expertise in skin diseases will be combined with the knowledge of the Dermatology Department at the University of Michigan, led by Dr. Johann E. Gudjonsson, to investigate relevant aspects of this disease such as chronic disease dissection and fibrosis.
Hidradenitis suppurativa is caused by occlusion of the hair follicle and it affects broad areas of the body such as the axillae, inguinal, anogenital, gluteal, and inframammary areas. The dilated hair follicle ruptures, spilling its contents into the dermis and causing an inflammatory response, nodules, abscesses, and, in later stages, sinus tract formation and scarring.
Despite substantial advances in the understanding of the disease in recent years, its pathogenesis is not fully understood and it is associated with relevant comorbidities that significantly decrease the quality of life of patients. Moreover, the treatment of hidradenitis suppurativa is challenging and often requires surgery.
Speaking on the partnership, Dr. Thomas Huber, Research Director at Almirall said, “This partnership aims for a deeper understanding of hidradenitis suppurativa, a complex disease with large unmet medical needs. In-depth knowledge of disease drivers will enable novel therapeutic approaches to provide treatment options for patients suffering from this severe condition.”
“This collaboration will provide resources that we hope will greatly increase our understanding of the critical disease mechanisms that drive the pathogenesis of hidradenitis using state-of-the-art technologies and analytics”, said Johann E. Gudjonsson, M.D., Ph.D., professor of dermatology at the University of Michigan Health, Michigan Medicine. “We envision that this will greatly accelerate the path from discovery to novel treatments, which will help us better treat this disease.”
SHINE, Almirall’s initiative to drive sustainable innovation in dermatology
The partnership with the University of Michigan is part of SHINE, an initiative launched by Almirall that aims to boost innovation in dermatology by promoting collaborations with centers of excellence. This project will also allow for a deeper understanding of dermatological diseases, access to new technologies, and the discovery of innovative therapeutic approaches.
This initiative is a further demonstration of Almirall’s commitment to scientific excellence and collaboration with the scientific community to provide potential new solutions in key therapeutic areas. The project will create substantial value for Almirall by enriching the R&D portfolio with innovative projects and indication expansion, increasing the quality and speed of R&D execution.