Sanofi and Regeneron, almost two years ago, broke new ground when they got their Dupixent (dupilumab) accepted for the atomic dermatitis, also known as eczema.
Prior to this, eczema was treated using creams and lotions, but now a company for the first time had been able to get biologic injected medicine approved which aims to treat the fundamental cause of this disease.
Dupixent inhibits the inflammatory response that is caused by a protein which is known as the interleukin 4 (IL-4), and is overactive in those people who suffer from the condition.
With Dupixent seeming like it might fulfill the commercial expectations, their rivals in the field of dermatology such as Almirall and the LEO Pharma are also trying to enter this growing market.
Almirall currently does not own an in-house biologics developmental operation and is planning to in-licence a drug for eczema, lebrikizumab, from Dermira. Lebrikizumab works quite differently from the Dupixent, targeting the IL-13, and Almirall is hoping that the innovation by Sanofi will clear the path for other injected rivals.
This current strategy by Almirall means that it is relying on third parties for the development of biologic treatments because it does not possess the expertise in-house. This does not make it altogether different from Sanofi.
In the same manner, Almirall has already been partnering with the Sun Pharmaceutical in 2016 for developing and marketing the psoriasis drug called tildrakizumab in Europe. The recent deal with Dermira is building on this same arrangement, said the head of the external innovation and licensing, Mr. Josep-Maria Casanovas.
All of the research and development of the company is now being based in dermatology as well as the deal with Dermira is fitting with the pipeline that is focused on diseases like acne, androgenic alopecia, actinic keratosis, and fungal nail infections.