LEO Science & Tech Hub and Epicore Biosystems Announce Second Phase of Partnership
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 firstname.lastname@example.org, on Twitter @LEOscitech or LinkedIn.
Rhonda Sciarra, LEO Science & Tech Hub
AJ Aranyosi, PhD, Epicore Biosystems
About LEO Pharma
LEO Pharma is a global company dedicated to advancing the standard of care for the benefit of people with skin conditions, their families and society. Founded in 1908 and majority owned by the LEO Foundation, LEO Pharma has devoted decades of research and development to advance the science of dermatology, and today, the company offers a wide range of therapies for all disease severities. LEO Pharma is headquartered in Denmark with a global team of 4,400 people, serving millions of patients across the world. In 2022, the company generated net sales of DKK 10.6 billion.