Acne is a big problem especially in adolescents and most of these patients suffer from “acne vulgaris” a common type of skin acne. It is caused by a bacterium called Cutibacterium acnes formally called Propionibacterium acnes. There is good news for all acne patients as a new project is all set to find a permanent treatment of acne by studying viral proteins to kill bacteria that typically cause it.
The Institute for Bioscience and Biotechnology Research (IBBR) has recently acknowledged by Maryland Innovation Initiative (MII) and it has been awarded Technology Assessment award for being part of the “Innovation Commercialization Program” at TEDCO. This participation would work to find an acne treatment by targeting C. acnes.
Dr. Daniel Nelson from the Department of Veterinary Medicine, University of Maryland is an IBBR fellow who would chiefly lead this research.
For years, acne patients are being treated with the standard topical medicines that include drying creams and lotions along with oral antibiotics. It may take months to treat acne and that’s what makes them so vulnerable to long term side effects especially the antibiotic resistance.
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Dr. Nelson is a biologist with special expertise in bacteriophages and viruses that may help to kill bacteria. He is all set to use his knowledge and skills, supplemented with phase technology to find a permanent treatment of acne.
Bacteriophages produce proteins that are called endolysin. These proteins are able to cleave the outer, protective walls of bacteria that act as a host to them. As per Dr. Nelson, the purified endolysins has the potential to puncture the outer wall of the bacterial cell and enter it. It takes only a few seconds to make contact and get into it and eventually kill it. This assumption suggests that endolysins may act as a significantly helpful ingredient in the topical treatment of acne.
Nelson shares that;
“Endolysins represent an exciting new technology with the potential to offer a potent and safe treatment for acne, with minimal side effects and low risk of inducing drug resistance.”
The funding would be provided by the Maryland Innovation Initiative (MII) to support Nelson while working on C. acnes-specific endolysins in his microbiology lab. He would develop and test this formula along with the safety assessment and efficacy through various study models.
Institute for Bioscience and Biotechnology Research (IBBR) is a collaborative research center of the University of Maryland, College Park campus, the University of Maryland, Baltimore campus, and the “National Institute of Standards and Technology”.
It is financed and funded by a Strategic Partnership at the University of Maryland namely, MPowering the State. This is a one of its kind initiative that is specially designed to find innovative scientific solutions through collaborative research.
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The study aims to develop the first-ever direct-lytic agent (DLA) as a permanent treatment of acne. It would be a novel, easy to use and efficient treatment to help all acne patients.
Tom Fuerst, the Director at Institute for Bioscience and Biotechnology Research (IBBR) says;
“Pursuing translational research that brings innovative science to the market is an important part of IBBR’s mission”. He further shares; “The MII program provides critical funding that helps bridge the gap between basic research funding and commercialization.”