The introduction of SCENESSE® in vitiligo treatment.
Vitiligo is an acquired depigmentation disorder that is characterised by a chronic and progressive loss of functioning skin and/or hair follicle melanocytes. Melanocytes are found in the epidermal layer of our skin and produce melanin, the pigment that gives colour to our skin and hair. The loss of epidermal melanocytes in vitiligo leads to a loss of melanin pigment which leaves the affected area white.
Vitiligo has been described as one of the most psychologically devastating diseases in dermatology. The condition is a chronic relapsing disorder and new depigmented areas of skin can form without warning, having a profound effect on a patient’s quality of life. Discrimination, embarrassment and low self esteem are just a few examples of what a patient must endure with the disfiguring effects caused by vitiligo.
Phototherapy, mainly narrow band UVB (NB-UVB), has emerged as a mainstay of repigmentation treatment in individuals affected by vitiligo. NB-UVB utilises a localised light source to activate melanin in vitiliginous lesions of the skin. This therapy is known to effectively suppress the local immune response and accelerate the maturity of melanocytes in the area around hair follicles, which act as melanocyte reservoirs. This process leads to activation of melanin (pigment).
This is where Clinuvel's first in class drug SCENESSE® will play an important role.
The novel therapy narrow-band UVB and the clinical response by patients, provides an excellent indication that melanocytes are present in the vitiliginous lesions of patients. After years of research, the clinical and academic community and the scientific teams at Clinuvel are well aware that where melanocytes are present, there are melanocortin-1 receptors available. And where there are melanocortin-1 receptors, there is an opportunity for SCENESSE® to activate the melanocyte.
The belief is widely supported that SCENESSE® will act as a chemical agent to the melanocyte in combination with the physical stimulant, narrowband UVB phototherapy, to repigment the skin of vitiligo patients.
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