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22 Sep 2020

Micreos initiates trial to evaluate world's first endolysin-drug as a therapy for atopic dermatitis

Endolysin XZ.700 killing S.aureus on the skin. Courtesy of Micreos Human Health.

The targeted removal of one particular bacterial species from the skin microbiome, while preserving the beneficial ones, represents a new way to treat atopic dermatitis.

Dutch biotech company Micreos Human Health has enrolled the first patients in a Phase I/IIa study to assess the safety and efficacy of XZ.700 in patients with mild to moderate atopic dermatitis.

The randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, parallel treated dose-ranging study marks the world's first evaluation of a pharmaceutical endolysin for topical use in humans.

Endolysins are highly specific enzymes that cut the bacterial cell wall, rapidly killing only the target bacteria, regardless of antibiotic resistance, while preserving the skin microbiome.

XZ.700 specifically targets Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus), a bacterium that is considered to be a causative and aggravating trigger for atopic dermatitis, and viewed as an independent cause of itch, irritation and infection.

"The targeted removal of one particular bacterial species, S. aureus, from the skin microbiome, while preserving the beneficial ones is a fundamental new way to treat atopic dermatitis," says dermatologist Dr Peter Lio, Scientific Advisor for Micreos and Scientific Advisory Board member for the National Eczema Association.

In this study, conducted in The Netherlands, XZ.700 will be tested for its safety, as well as pharmacodynamics and efficacy, in 48 patients with atopic dermatitis.

They will be treated for 14 days with a cream containing XZ.700 at three different concentrations or placebo.

The company expects to finish the study and report the results towards the end of 2021.

XZ.700 is one of several endolysins Micreos has in its portfolio. A structurally similar endolysin, SA.100, is used in the company's over the counter products for inflammatory skin disorders, such as acne and rosacea, found in the Gladskin range, which have been on the market since 2013.

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