Psoriasis is a chronic autoimmune skin disease characterized by a damaged skin barrier, and dry, inflamed patches of itchy and scaly skin. Psoriasis often goes through cycles of different intensities, flaring for weeks to months before subsiding or going into remission.
Psoriasis affects 2 – 3 % of the world population, and in 2019 the global cost of treatment reached a total of $20 billion, a number which is expected to increase to $40 billion by 2027 (Fortune Business Insights, Report: FBI100600). The severity of the disease ranges from mild, with only a few small patches of inflamed skin, to debilitating, involving large areas of the body, requiring immunosuppressive treatment to stem the inflammatory process and alleviate symptoms.
There is no cure for psoriasis, and treatment therefore aims to reduce disease severity, by reducing inflammation and achieving as good skin clearance as possible. Recent years have seen a great increase in the biological therapeutics for severe psoriasis, but topical agents remain the gold standard for mild to moderate psoriasis. Topical treatment typically consists of corticosteroids and vitamin-D derivatives, along with moisturizers. Long term usage of steroids is however problematic as it causes side-effects such as skin thinning, stretch marks and change in skin pigmentation, especially in sensitive skin such as the face. Long-term treatment of children is particularly problematic as they are more sensitive than adults, and therefore more prone to experiencing side effects. Long-term treatment with potent steroids can even cause growth retardation in children. Patients with mild to moderate psoriasis would benefit greatly from new treatment options, which could substitute, be combined with, or be alternated with the current treatments.
We offer a new approach for psoriasis treatment as we aim to develop a non-steroid based, topical pharmaceutical product with both hydrating and anti-inflammatory effect. Improved hydration, and reduced inflammation strengthens the skin-barrier and may reduce the need of harsher treatments such as steroids or immunosuppressing drugs. Our steroid-free approach also opens new possibilities for long-term treatment, and treatment of sensitive skin.