Innovative Biologics Development for the Treatment of Postinflammatory Hyperpigmentation
Part of the human condition involves surviving and caring for our bodily injuries and an entire industry in pharmaceuticals is devoted to ensuring we do so effectively: ointments are made to prevent infection, medications prevent pain and bandages protect our scrapes and scratches from further re-injury. But for individuals with darker skin tones, postinflammatory hyperpigmentation introduces an entirely different another aspect of skin care, perhaps the most important for those who deeply care about the appearance of their skin.1
Clinically, postinflammatory hyperpigmentation occurs when, after an injury (or acne), the skin around or inside of the injury acquires excess pigment that discolors its surface.2 This occurs because, after an injury, the skin undergoes a series of inflammatory responses that result in the chemical transformation of arachidonic acid in the epidermis to prostaglandins and other byproducts, thus altering the activity of immune cells and, in particular, melanocytes.3 The melanocytes, when greater in number, produce more melanin which is then transferred to surrounding keratinocytes to form a postinflammatory hyperpigmentation mark. Unfortunately, postinflammatory hyperpigmentation can lead to unsightly skin discoloration and can negatively impact a person’s “social interactions, self-esteem, self-confidence, and even employment opportunities.”4
Today’s Treatments Are Limited—Tomorrow’s Treatments Might Not Be
Treatments for postinflammatory hyperpigmentation are limited to managing the excess pigment after it has formed. Thus, the first-line of therapy for postinflammatory hyperpigmentation include depigmenting agents that lighten areas of hypermelanosis. These include topical tyrosinase inhibitors, such as hydroquinone, various acid peels and retinoids. Laser therapy has also been used to effectively treat postinflammatory hyperpigmentation, though; it has also been known to worsen the condition. Still, postinflammatory hyperpigmentation is notoriously difficult to treat and even the abovementioned therapies may not work for some individuals.
In this milieu, the 50 million people who are affected by postinflammatory hyperpigmentation and the dermatologists who treat them are eager to find a solution that effectively treats the disorder, perhaps even before the melanin deposits form in the area of the injury.
Harnessing the Power of Biologic Therapy
As mentioned, today’s therapies are limited and mostly restrained to treating postinflammatory hyperpigmentation after scarring. Research organizations should then consider the potential of biologics in order to determine how these medicines can be added to current therapies to further improve outcomes for individuals. Biologics are “genetically-engineered proteins derived from human genes,” and in rheumatoid arthritis, biologic-based treatments have been used to inhibit components of the immune system that lead to inflammation. To treat postinflammatory hyperpigmentation, researchers and dermatologists should similarly consider how aspects of the immune system can be inhibited in treating this disorder before excess melanin is produced. However, the discovery of such a therapy requires unique processes that can handle the complexity of biological systems.
The BIOVIA Biologics Solution Offering is an innovative suite of software that supports the discovery, development and manufacture of biologic therapies. Our product does so by providing scientists with the tools and technology to process and interpret the high volume of information that comes from sequence data, as well as antibody and cell line information. Assay management systems and sample management systems ensure that the same effort is not made twice as organizations search for novel therapeutic solutions for postinflammatory hyperpigmentation and other disorders. To consider how the BIOVIA Biologics solution can assist your company in making novel therapies, please contact us today.
- “Postinflammatory hyperpigmentation,” July 2010, http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2921758/ ↩
- “Postinflammatory hyperpigmentation,” June 22, 2015, http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/1069191-overview ↩
- “Postinlammatory hyperpigmentation,” http://www.dermnetnz.org/colour/postinflammatory-pigmentation.html ↩
- “Hydroquinone Therapy for Post-inflammatory Hyperpigmentation Acne: Not Just PRescribable by Dermatologists,” June 15, 2011, http://www.medicaljournals.se/acta/content/?doi=10.2340/00015555-1225&html=1 ↩