Celsus’s MFAIDs target inflammatory mediators that play a key role in skin inflammation, a $2bn annual market.
Preliminary studies in patients suffering from contact dermatitis have been successfully completed and demonstrate marked efficacy compared to a placebo. Eleven (n=11) patients were topically administered MRX-6 1% cream twice daily for 28 days in a double blind, placebo controlled first-in- patient pilot study. MRX-6-treated subjects showed a 70% improvement compared to just 37% improvement in placebo-treated subjects. A second, multi-center, double blind study of MRX-6 2% cream (n=30) also demonstrated a statistically significant benefit at 21 days, showing a 56% improvement from baseline symptoms in MRX-6 treated hands vs. 24% in placebo treated hands.
MRX-6 is a topical cream aimed at treating eczema (with the first indication being atopic dermatitis). There is a wide variety of medical conditions that fall under the broad definition of dermatitis/eczema, including contact dermatitis, atopic dermatitis and seborrheic dermatitis. The first is an allergy, the second is of unknown etiology but probably autoimmune in nature and the last is an abnormal reaction to normal skin flora. All forms of eczema may cause discomfort, pain and embarrassment to the person affected. The incidence of atopic dermatitis, for example, has increased significantly over the past 30 years in the industrialized world, probably due to environmental factors.
The drugs for treating mild to moderate dermatitis can be divided into two primary groups: topical steroids, which are the most common treatment for dermatitis, and topical calcineurin inhibitors TCI) such as Elidel® and Protopic®.
Ingber A, Cohen Y, Krimsky M, Yedgar S. A novel treatment of contact dermatitis by topical application of phospholipase A2 inhibitor: a double- blind placebo-controlled pilot study. Int J Immunopathol Pharmacol. 2007 Jan-Mar;20(1):191-5.