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SWITCH BIOTECH Release: Joint Forces Against Vitiligo; Development Co-operation Agreement Signed With Spirig Pharma For Vitiligo Product


10/19/2005 5:10:38 PM

SWITCH Biotech AG, a biotechnology company that specialises in the development of novel treatments for skin diseases, today announced the signing of a co-operation agreement with Spirig Pharma AG, a company that is active in the development and marketing of dermaceuticals. The co-operation is aimed at jointly progressing SWITCH Biotech's drug candidate SWT05100 through clinical trials to probe its efficacy in the treatment of vitiligo. Should this development prove successful both partners will share rights to future products. Vitiligo is a skin disease characterized by irregular patches of unpigmented skin, occurring most often on exposed areas of the skin. Currently, there are no effective treatments for the 3-4 million people who suffer with vitiligo. SWITCH Biotech has elucidated the molecular basis of vitiligo by genetically analysing skin samples from patients. During this project, SWITCH scientists discovered a crucial process that is central to the proper functioning of pigment-forming skin cells (melanocytes). In affected vitiligo patients, this process is inhibited leading to the characteristic white zones on the skin. This knowledge has enabled SWITCH to identify the drug candidate SWT05100 which was able to reverse the disturbed process in cell culture experiments.


   

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