LEO Science & Tech Hub, the Boston-based R&D innovation unit of LEO Pharma, has collaborated with Epicore Biosystems to explore the use of a non-invasive, wearable sweat sensor to measure prognostic biomarkers in real time, monitor patient response and inform treatment decisions.
The initial project will include a proof of concept study in collaboration with engineers and dermatologists at Northwestern University’s Center for Bio-Integrated Electronics and Feinberg School of Medicine’s Department of Dermatology to establish baseline measurements and milestones to validate the clinical relevance of the approach for patients with atopic dermatitis (eczema).
LEO Science & Tech Hub vice president Michael Sierra said: “A central goal of precision medicine is to predict early on if a given treatment will work for the individual patient. As atopic dermatitis (eczema) is a diverse skin disease, not all patients will benefit equally from a given treatment.
“The possibility of enabling healthcare professionals to characterize skin hydration and disease-specific biomarker responses in real-time and in turn, helping them provide personalized treatment regimens for patients, is an extremely powerful concept.
“We believe that wearable technologies will have a major impact on the future of healthcare and LEO is fortunate for the opportunity to contribute our expertise in skin research and drug development to this project.”
Epicore Biosystems co-founder and CEO Dr Roozbeh Ghaffari said: “The possibilities for driving targeted therapies based on high throughput and low-cost analysis of biomarkers in sweat are limitless.
“We’re excited about our partnership with LEO Science and Tech Hub, and see it leading to new classes of wearable metabolic sensors that enable remote tracking of skin disease biomarkers and help accelerate interventions once patients leave the hospital.”
LEO Science and Tech Hub chief data scientist Troels Marstrand said: “Sweat is a largely unexplored body fluid when it comes to disease biomarkers. I am excited about this project as it pushes the boundaries of both our technological knowhow and our biological understanding.
“Our vision, which is to develop an ‘at-home-patch’ test, will give patients the ability, early on, to determine if they benefit from a particular antibody treatment or need to try an alternative.”
The LEO Science & Tech Hub is recognized for its unique collaborative approach of seeking cutting-edge technology for dermatological applications.
Since its launch, the Hub has successfully formed multiple collaborations to explore minimally invasive biomarker technologies, drug delivery devices, advanced imaging systems and remote monitoring methods with leading research institutes and biotechnology companies including MIT, The Karp Lab, Novopyxis, Elektrofi and The Wellman Center for Photomedicine at Massachusetts General Hospital.
Source: Company Press Release