Helix BioMedix is developing two peptide compounds HB2266 and HB2413, a cyclical peptide, for the topical treatment of psoriasis and atopic dermatitis. The company has conducted several preclinical studies with encouraging results and continues work in this area.
According to the National Psoriasis Foundation, psoriasis is the most prevalent autoimmune disease in the U.S. affecting as many as 7.5 million Americans—approximately 2.2 percent of the population. Worldwide about 125 million people have psoriasis. The total direct and indirect health care costs of psoriasis for patients are calculated at $11.25 billion annually, with work loss accounting for 40 percent of the cost burden. Approximately 60 percent of psoriasis patients missed an average of 26 days of work a year due to their illness. Clearly, psoriasis burdens individuals, families and the health care system. Many of the current psoriasis treatments have significant safety issues, while others are not patient friendly. https://www.psoriasis.org/content/statistics
Atopic dermatitis (AD) is a chronic inflammatory skin disease with a wide spectrum of clinical presentations and combinations of symptoms. AD affects up to 20% of children and up to 3% of adults; recent data show that its prevalence is still increasing. It is a significant burden on health-care resources and patients’ quality of life. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25925336
Our Anti-Infective programs are based upon a first-in-class family of molecules known as lipohexapeptides (or small molecule peptides) that we developed to specifically combine the attributes of small molecule natural products with the advantages of antimicrobial peptides. This new class of anti-infective peptide has demonstrated significant improvement in activity, both in vitro and in vivo, over traditional antimicrobial peptides.
HB1345 is a synthetic lipohexapeptide anti-infective product with potent and broad spectrum antimicrobial activity when applied topically to skin infections. HB1345 exhibits MIC values in the 1-2ug/ml range against key pathogens, including P.acnes. It avoids the problems of the standard of care topical anti-infectives since it is cidal, non-cross resistant, exhibits low to no resistance emergence, it is active in serum and lipid mixtures (replicating conditions in the acne pore) and has an extended post-antibiotic effect. In addition, HB1345 binds to lipoteichoic acid (LTA) which is a major cause of inflammation in acne.
The ability of lipohexapeptides to safely and effectively kill S. aureus in an abraded skin infection model, and the fact that this class of molecule exhibits potent activity against both methicillin (MRSA) and mupirocin (current therapy) resistant strains, support its development potential. The broad spectrum of activity exhibited by lipohexapeptides also enables possible application to chronic wounds, burn wounds, and trauma wounds in which multiple pathogens can cause significant morbidity and mortality.
Trichophyton species are the major cause of a significant number of fungal skin infections including, athlete’s foot, tinea capitis (scalp ringworm) and onychomycosis (nail fungus).
HB1275 is a topical lipohexapeptide with potent antifungal activity against yeast and filamentous fungi. Safety and efficacy have been demonstrated in dermal Trichophyton guinea pig infection model. Trichophyton species are the major cause of a significant number of fungal skin infections including, athlete’s foot, tinea capitis (scalp ringworm) and onychomycosis (nail fungus). Up to 70% of Americans have athlete’s foot at any given time, 13% of United States school children (85% of children in many other countries) test positive for tinea capitis, and 22-40% of Americans 51-100 years of age have onychomycosis. Our pre-clinical data have shown that our lead molecules are capable of treating Trichophyton infections and hold great promise for multiple dermatological indications.