CLINUVEL product studied for Sun exposure DNA repair


Biopharmaceurical company CLINUVEL has announced results from a study evaluating the DNA-repair capacity of its afamelanotide product on skin of healthy volunteers exposed to ultraviolet (UV) radiation.

The study, conducted at Salford Royal Hospital, Manchester suggests that afamelanotide leads to reduction of differentially expressed genes (DEGs) in exposed skin, according to an ASX announcement.

The study analysed biopsies from seven patients with fair skin types prior to, and six days after, afamelanotide treatment.

RNA sequencing illustrated that without afamelanotide, UV-irradiation
resulted in 625 differentially expressed genes (DEGs) in comparison to non-irradiated skin.

The announcement said that with afamelanotide, the DEGs between irradiated versus non-irradiated skin reduced to 183.

CLINUVEL’s Chief Scientific Officer Dr Dennis Wright said: “The results from RNA sequencing complement the earlier results we saw from mmunohistochemistry, in that afamelanotide consistently seems to assist repair of UV-damaged DNA in the skin.

“The significance of these results evaluating the use of afamelanotide in reducing oxidative and inflammatory damage caused by UV is high for those at high risk of solar damage, sunburn and skin cancers, hence we will repeat and confirm these results in a final study,”

Afamelanotide is a medication approved by the FDA to prevent phototoxicity and to reduce pain from light exposure for people with erythropoietic protoporphyria.

Originally developed at the University of Arizona as a sunless tanning agent, afamelanotide was licenced to Australian startup EpiTan which changed its name to CLINUVEL.

Since then the company has conducted numerous studies in attempts to widen the use for the drug.

Picture: Dr Dennis Wright

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