About Chronic Skin Diseases
About Chronic Skin Diseases
We are currently leveraging our STAR-D technology for our KB5XX series of products using two undisclosed therapeutic targets to develop pioneering therapies to address the unmet needs of patients suffering from chronic skin diseases, including chronic wounds and atopic dermatitis.
Chronic, non-healing wounds include, but are not limited to, pressure ulcers, neuropathic ulcers (such as diabetic foot ulcers), and venous leg ulcers. These ulcers last on average 12 to 13 months, recur in up to 70% of patients, can lead to loss of limb function and a steeply declining quality of life, and are a significant cause of morbidity. Accordingly, they present a real and significant challenge to wound care professionals and consume a great deal of healthcare resources around the globe.
Patients with non-healing wounds are likely to be older adults, non-ambulatory or paralyzed, unable to provide self-care, and/or suffer from dementia. Predominantly a condition of the elderly, chronic wounds impact nearly 15% of Medicare beneficiaries and up to 2% of the population in developed countries. Population aging is poised to become one of the most significant social and medical transformations of the twenty-first century, as the number of people 60 years and older is projected to more than double in size by 2050, reaching nearly 2.1 billion. As such, chronic wounds will become an ever-increasing burden on the medical community, and new therapies are desperately needed to provide a comprehensive approach to wound care and to overcome the factors that contribute to the delayed healing of chronic wounds.
The primary function of the skin is to act as a protective barrier between an individual and their external environment, minimizing water loss from the body while simultaneously preventing the entry of allergens and pathogens. Skin barrier defects facilitate allergen sensitization, potentially leading to systemic allergic responses, and a defective skin barrier is a key feature of chronic inflammatory skin diseases. For example, skin barrier defects have been considered an initial step in developing atopic dermatitis (AD), and these skin barrier defects are the most important pathologic findings in AD skin.
Atopic dermatitis is a common, often persistent skin disease where the skin becomes dry, extremely itchy, and inflamed, causing redness, swelling, vesicle formation, cracking, weeping, crusting, and scaling. Significant complications beyond these skin pathologies can also develop in patients suffering from AD, including asthma and hay fever, skin infections, allergic contact dermatitis, problems sleeping, and psychosocial issues such as diminished self-confidence, negative impacts on the ability to maintain employment, limitations on interpersonal interactions, anxiety, and depression. Multiple factors can trigger or worsen AD, including low humidity, seasonal allergies, exposure to harsh soaps and detergents, and cold weather, leading some patients to have a protracted course with ups and downs in disease severity. AD is the most common, complex inflammatory skin disease worldwide, affecting ~20% of children and ~5% of adults. Consequently, AD places a heavy economic burden on patients, their families, and the healthcare industry.