Acne is the second most expensive skin disease, resulting in $2.23 billion in medical spending annually. Although the overall health is not impaired, acne can produce cutaneous and emotional scars that last a lifetime. It is not surprising that there is high willingness to pay for acne treatment, and the market is expected to grow to $12 billion. Currently, available medicines are mainly used to treat symptoms and are associated with severe drawbacks, such as skin irritation, requiring long-term treatment, teratogenesis, and acquisition of antibiotic resistance. Androgens, which act through androgen receptor to express their biological response, play an important role in the development of acne, i.e., the cause of disease. In theory, use of an androgen receptor inhibitor should induce symptom relief for all types of acne and more importantly, intervenes in the progression from comedones to the more severe, scar-causing inflammatory lesions. Currently, there is no topical androgen receptor inhibitor available. In Phase I of this SBIR study, a patented androgen receptor degradation enhancer, ASC-J9, has been demonstrated to be effective and safe in inducing regression of androgen-stimulated seborrhea in two different animal models for human acne. ASC-J9, a new chemical identity, is potentially superior to currently available medicines for acne treatment. AndroScience Corporation has committed substantial resources in developing ASC-J9 through the necessary regulatory approval process for evaluation as an anti-acne drug. In this Phase 2 application, we request support to complete critical development steps needed for Investigation of New Drug (IND) submission; precisely we are asking support for required regulatory studies related to drug substance scale-up, drug product formulation and manufacturing/quality control, as well as preclinical biosafety and bioefficacy testing. The acquired information will support AndroSciences effort to request approval from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to commence human clinical trials (Phase 3) and also help in securing follow-up funding or forming partnerships with established pharmaceutical companies to register the process necessary to bring a new drug to the marketplace. We believe that commercialization of an ASC-J9 topical cream will benefit public health by alleviating clinical symptoms in acne sufferers in a safer, and more effective and satisfactory fashion. ASC-J9 topical cream commercialization could replace some undesirable anti-acne drugs currently in use. Acnes are androgen-dependent. More effective, safer, and better-tolerated treatments for acnes are lacking. This project is designed to develop and eventually commercialize ASC-J9 topical cream as the first-in-class androgen inhibitor to accomplish the goal to alleviate clinical symptoms and achieve a higher degree of satisfaction in patients and doctors. ? ? ?

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS)
Small Business Innovation Research Grants (SBIR) - Phase II (R44)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZRG1-MOSS-K (12))
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Lapham, Cheryl K
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Androscience Corporation
San Diego
United States
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Shi, Q; Shih, C C-Y; Lee, K H (2009) Novel anti-prostate cancer curcumin analogues that enhance androgen receptor degradation activity. Anticancer Agents Med Chem 9:904-12