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LEO Science & Tech Hub Announces Collaborations With MGH Wellman Center For Photomedicine To Explore Imaging Technology And Develop Microbiopsy Device

8/23/2017 7:53:59 AM

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CAMBRIDGE, Mass.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--LEO Science & Tech Hub, a R&D unit of LEO Pharma dedicated to identifying, developing, and funding innovative solutions that improve the lives of people with skin diseases, today announced two collaborative projects with The Wellman Center for Photomedicine at Massachusetts General Hospital. The Hub will provide research funding to support development of novel imaging technology with the laboratory led by Conor L. Evans, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Harvard Medical School, and a disposable microbiopsy device with Walfre Franco, Ph.D., Instructor, and Adam Raff, M.D., Ph.D., Clinical Associate from R. Rox Anderson’s Lab.

“Advancements like this could powerfully impact patients by limiting the number of painful skin biopsies they must endure.”

"We are excited to enter these collaborations with the Wellman Center for Photomedicine at Mass General Hospital and are honored to work with scientists at the forefront of imaging technology and microbiopsy research,” commented Dr. Michael Sierra, VP of the Hub. “At LEO Science & Tech Hub, we firmly believe in the power of collective effort and are always seeking cutting-edge technologies to advance non-invasive biopsy and imaging technologies for patients with skin diseases.”

The Evans Lab’s research specializes in microscopy and spectroscopy for understanding cancer and dermatology afflictions. This collaboration will explore novel imaging technologies that will enable non-invasive, high-resolution, real-time pharmacokinetic/pharmacodynamic (PK/PD) measurements with help of the lab’s coherent Raman scattering (CRS) technology. This technology enables chemically-specific imaging by means of detecting specific molecular vibrations native to drugs and tissues.

“CRS technology ‘tunes’ into and detects specific molecular structures, allowing us to see what is otherwise invisible to the naked eye,” said Dr. Evans. “This research could potentially lead to the real-time measurement of biomarkers that show or predict changes in disease state, and may impact the future of diagnostic and drug development programs.”

The Anderson Lab focuses on discovering new optical treatments and diagnostics, mainly for problems in dermatology. This collaboration will seek to develop a painless, suture-free, disposable microbiopsy device that may potentially allow for a non-scarring sampling procedure of full-thickness skin microbiopsies and will enable frequent sampling in clinical studies to help researchers further understand the disease profile.

“The use of microbiopsy techniques may be able to lead to rapid tissue diagnostics without the involvement of a pathologist,” said Dr. Franco. “Advancements like this could powerfully impact patients by limiting the number of painful skin biopsies they must endure.”

These collaborative projects come on the heels of two partnerships The Hub announced in June. The first is a two-year collaboration with The Karp Lab at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, aimed at developing minimally invasive technologies for dermal biomarker assessments, and the second collaboration is an investment in Novopyxis, a Cambridge, MA based biotech company developing a needle-free aerosol-based drug delivery device used for topical skin treatments.

About LEO Science & Tech Hub
The LEO Science & Tech Hub is a R&D innovation unit of LEO Pharma dedicated to identifying, developing, and funding innovative solutions that improve the lives of people with skin diseases. It was founded in 2016 as a catalyst to transform early-stage innovations into solutions for improving the lives of people with skin diseases. We collaborate, explore cutting-edge ideas and make investments. We are an agile group of scientific experts with an entrepreneurial mindset and a vision of how to give patients control over disease by predicting, diagnosing, and monitoring a condition. The LEO Science & Tech Hub is based in Cambridge, Mass. For more information, please visit, or connect with us at or on Twitter @LEOscitech.

About LEO Pharma
LEO Pharma helps people achieve healthy skin. By offering care solutions to patients in more than 100 countries globally, LEO Pharma supports people in managing their skin conditions. Founded in 1908 and owned by the LEO Foundation, the healthcare company has devoted decades of research and development to delivering products and solutions to people with skin conditions. LEO Pharma is headquartered in Denmark and employs around 5,000 people worldwide. Please visit


LEO Science & Tech Hub
Alex Ignatius Costa
Media Contact:
Andrew Mastrangelo, 617-374-8800 ext. 108

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