September 2019: DermaXon received a Phase 1 STTR Grant funding from the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke to support preclinical efficacy studies for a novel drug treatment for pruritus.

This award, titled “TOPICAL SELECTIVE T-TYPE BLOCKERS FOR THE TREATMENT OF PRURITUS”, has the potential to increase to $1.5 million, if the Phase 1 project is successful.

Pruritus, also called itch, is associated with chronic inflammatory skin diseases such as ichthyosis, prurigo nodularis, and hidradenitis suppurativa and is a leading health problem in the U.S. Itch management is currently aimed only at treating inflammation, but pruritus is highly recalcitrant to treatment in some patients due to the relative lack of therapeutics that specifically inhibit pruritus. Our objective in this proposal is to design and topically deliver T-type calcium channel blockers that will silence action potential discharge induced by pruritogenic cytokines interacting with pruriceptor nerve endings, and at the same time, will reduce the release of inflammatory cytokines by activated immune cells, with improved efficacy and limited systemic exposure. This SBIR Phase 1 will generate data necessary to validate our proposed target, intradermal T-type channels, for the treatment of itch in adult and pediatric patients.

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