Boston-based LEO Science & Tech Hub, an R&D innovation unit of Leo Pharma that explore cutting-edge science and technology opportunities with relevance for dermatology, has partnered up 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.
During the initial phase, a proof of concept study will be conducted with the help of 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, commonly known as eczema.
“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,” says Michael Sierra, VP of the LEO Science & Tech Hub. “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.”
Co-founder and CEO of Epicore, Roozbeh Ghaffari, PhD, said there are limitless possibilities to drive targeted therapies based on high throughput and low-cost analysis of biomarkers in sweat. “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,” he said.
The LEO Science & Tech Hub is well-known for its unique collaborative approach of seeking state-of-the-art technology to improve the lives of people with skin diseases. The hub is an agile group of scientific experts with an entrepreneurial mindset and a vision of how to give patients control over disease by predicting, diagnosing, and monitoring conditions. Since its launch in 2016, 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.