Who are we?
Precision Medicine in Dermatology.
In order to achieve this we will require a much deeper understanding about the different factors that contribute to the course of disease between patients with the same disease such as: Environmental. Genetic. Molecular. Our current research projects aim at developing technologies that should enable us to adress these questions, resulting in solutions that can one day support treatment decisions.
News from the hub
— Partnership with the Boston-based R&D innovation unit of LEO Pharma A/S advances development of Epicore Biosystems’ wearable Discovery patch and electrochemical sensors to measure prognostic skin health, inflammation biomarkers —
— Proof-of-principle study in atopic dermatitis patients seeks to track inflammatory biomarkers across different skin locations, will be conducted at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine to establish baselines –
Nov. 7, 2019, CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – LEO Science & Tech Hub, the Boston-based R&D innovation unit of LEO Pharma A/S, announced today the next phase of a research collaboration in atopic dermatitis (AD) with Epicore Biosystems, a wearable microfluidics and biosensor spinout from Northwestern University’s Center for Bio-Integrated Electronics.
The partnership advances the development of Epicore’s wearable Discovery patch and electrochemical sensors to measure prognostic skin health and inflammation biomarkers. The goal is to explore if and how these biochemical markers can apply to and inform treatment decisions and therapeutic targets.
Phase II of the collaboration will involve a proof-of-principle study in AD patients to track inflammatory biomarkers across different skin locations. The study will be conducted in the Department of Dermatology at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine to establish baselines. The partnership will also leverage Epicore’s connected electrochemical-sensing solutions toward characterization of skin health and disease-specific biomarkers in real-time and outside confines of a clinic.
“Real-time assessment of inflammatory biomarkers found in sweat and interstitial fluid push the boundaries, leading to objective assessment of interventions for people affected by AD as well as across other chronic diseases,” said Dr. Roozbeh Ghaffari, co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of Epicore Biosystems.
“This collaboration between Epicore and LEO Science & Tech Hub represents a unique opportunity to collect data to enable research in translational medicine on the link between cytokines in sweat and disease state of atopic dermatitis patients,” said Michael Sierra, Vice President, LEO Science & Tech Hub. “Non-invasive technologies have the potential to deepen unique disease understanding, paving the way for precision medicine within dermatology.”
An initial study was completed in June 2019 in collaboration with Northwestern dermatologists to establish baseline data using the Discovery platform and to test its clinical utility. The team demonstrated the ability to quantify the concentrations of target cytokines in sweat across different skin locations. This serves as a foundation for the phase II effort in AD patients.
“We’re looking forward to engaging with both Epicore Biosystems and LEO Science & Tech Hub in evaluating the Discovery patch in patients with atopic dermatitis. Our experiences so far with the Discovery patch has been overwhelmingly positive,” said Dr. Steve Xu, Department of Dermatology Assistant Professor at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine. “Sweat is the next frontier for biomarker discovery – I believe that there will be unique signatures that will open new avenues for early intervention and precision therapy in atopic dermatitis.”
“Our collaboration with LEO Science & Tech Hub to deploy the Discovery patch in clinical studies serves as the benchmark, helping bring this platform closer to reality in dermatology and skin microbiome research,” said Jeffrey Model, co-Founder and Chief Product Officer of Epicore Biosystems.
Since its launch, the LEO Science & Tech Hub has successfully formed multiple collaborations to explore minimally invasive biomarker technologies, drug-delivery devices, advanced imaging systems and remote monitoring methods with leading research institutes and biotechnology companies including MIT, The Karp Lab, Elektrofi and The Wellman Center for Photomedicine at Massachusetts General Hospital.
About Epicore Biosystems
Epicore Biosystems is a spinout company from Professor John Rogers’ Laboratory at Northwestern University’s Center for Bio-Integrated Electronics and Simpson-Querrey Institute for Bio/Nanotechnology. Epicore Biosystems is developing skin-like wearable fluidic sensors to be capable of non-invasively measuring metabolic and digital biomarkers in real-time. The company has established partnerships with Fortune 100 companies, the Department of Defense, and research hospitals to drive personalized care with their wearable fluidic products. For more information, please visit EpicoreBiosystems.com or @EpicoreBio on Twitter.
About LEO Science & Tech Hub
The LEO Science & Tech Hub is an R&D innovation unit of LEO Pharma A/S 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 conditions. The LEO Science & Tech Hub is based in Cambridge, Mass. For more information, please visit www.leo-scitech.com, or connect with us at email@example.com, on Twitter @LEOscitech or LinkedIn.
About LEO Pharma
LEO Pharma A/S helps people achieve healthy skin. The company is a leader in medical dermatology with a robust R&D pipeline, a wide range of therapies and a pioneering spirit. Founded in 1908 and owned by the LEO Foundation, LEO Pharma has devoted decades of research and development to advance the science of dermatology, setting new standards of care for people with skin conditions. LEO Pharma is headquartered in Denmark with a global team of 6,000 people, serving 76 million patients in 130 countries. In 2018, the company generated net sales of DKK 10,410 million.
Rhonda Sciarra, LEO Science & Tech Hub
AJ Aranyosi, PhD, Epicore Biosystems
Five finalist teams emerging after Hacking Dermatology 2019 all share one thing in common – they are working toward the goal of solving some of the most important challenges facing patients with skin disease.
Hacking Dermatology 2019 is an innovation challenge that unites clinical and scientific experts, patients, engineers and innovators to reimagine the landscape of patient care. With a focus this year on precision medicine, the three-day hackathon, Sept. 13-15, in Boston, engaged more than 100 participants on teams that advanced potential solutions and mentors providing expertise, guidance and feedback.
The teams that won advanced the following conceptual ideas:
- CureSore: An at-home patient monitoring tool that uses image standardization technology to track disease progression.
- Flare: Continuous non-invasive monitoring of skin properties (e.g. hydration, pH) to support patients in tracking their eczema to help them predict disease flares.
- Relief: A mobile app using patient input and geolocation data to identify and predict flares based on external triggers.
- Skin on a Chip: Embedding a patient’s skin cells on a chip to evaluate the safety and efficacy of multiple medications to determine an optimal therapy.
- WartPatch: A painless microneedle-based immunotherapy delivery device for treating warts, especially in children.
Each finalist now moves on to the incubation stage of the Hacking Dermatology framework, which includes $5,000 in grant seed funding and greater access to dedicated mentors to advance their ideas. All the finalists will be automatically included in a final round of pitches for additional grants, $60,000 in total, in January 2020.
About the Hackathon
In early 2019, expert scientists, clinicians, researchers, and industry leaders worked together to outline critical challenges facing patients affected by skin conditions. Through crowdsourcing and the framing process, 10 challenge statements emerged to serve as challenge prompts for the three-day hackathon.
The hackathon began Friday with background talks from leaders from multiple stakeholder groups. Participants came from exceptionally diverse backgrounds, ranging from clinical dermatology to industrial design to data science to chemical engineering, and formed project teams to advance a number of innovative ideas that were presented on the final afternoon Sunday.
About Hacking Dermatology
Hacking Dermatology is led and supported by a consortium of academic, non-profit, and industry partners, including Hacking Medicine Institute (HMi), the LEO Science & Tech Hub and LEO Pharma, Advancing Innovation in Dermatology (AID), and MIT Hacking Medicine. Hacking Dermatology was modeled on the Hacking Medicine Institute’s extended innovation program.
There are three stages: 1) challenge statement development and identification, 2) the hackathon and 3) an incubation period with additional funding opportunities for the winning teams. The third stage includes incubation and final pitch competition. All stages are open to new participants and incorporate open science and new perspectives.
Thanks go to the Hacking Dermatology Steering Committee, which is made up of a working group of representatives from the founding organizations; these are Duerksen; Costa; Olga Afanasiev, MD, Dermatology Resident, Stanford Health Care, and Co-founder, HealthAI @ Stanford; Jamie Breslin, Director of Operations and Partnerships, AID; and Adam Raff, MD, PhD, Director of Translational Medicine, LEO Pharma.
About Hacking Medicine Institute + MIT Hacking Medicine
HMi is an educational 501c3 that practices and studies contemporary healthcare innovation, by working with industry and academic partners to organize hackathons and challenges and by studying the process of innovation and publishing on findings. These complimentary, parallel programs allow for the active progress of healthcare innovation through critical and evidenced based strategies. MIT Hacking Medicine is a group founded at MIT in 2011, comprising of MIT students and community members, aimed at energizing the healthcare community and accelerating medical innovation.
We accomplish this by carrying out health hackathons, design thinking workshops, and networking gatherings to teach healthcare entrepreneurship and develop digital strategies to scale medicine as a way to solve health problems worldwide. To date, the group has organized more than 150 events across 15 countries and 5 continents with over 40 companies, raising over $200M in venture funding.
About Advancing Innovation in Dermatology
Advancing Innovation in Dermatology (AID) is a non-profit organization committed to catalyzing the development of new solutions that can significantly improve skin health. Through multiple initiatives, activities, and actions, AID provides support, resources, and a nexus for individuals and organizations who are effecting change in dermatology by creating a next generation of innovative and impactful products.
About LEO Science & Tech Hub
The LEO Science & Tech Hub is an 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 conditions. The LEO Science & Tech Hub is based in Cambridge, Mass.
About LEO Pharma
LEO Pharma is a leader in medical dermatology with a robust R&D pipeline, a wide range of therapies and a pioneering spirit. Founded in 1908 and owned by the LEO Foundation, LEO Pharma has devoted decades of research and development to advance the science of dermatology, setting new standards of care for people with skin conditions. LEO Pharma is headquartered in Denmark with a global team of 5,500 people, serving 76 million patients in 130 countries. In 2018, the company generated net sales of DKK 10,410 million.