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New Orals, Better Topicals Top Psoriasis Wish List

This article was originally published in Start Up

Executive Summary

Biologics for psoriasis leapfrogged existing treatments in the last decade, greatly improving the standard of care. Although those may still see incremental improvements, the real changes for patient care may come with the introduction of new oral and topical treatments. START-UP profiles four emerging companies that are tackling this challenge: Avexxin, Cellceutix, Creabilis, and Convoy Therapeutics.

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Convoy Therapeutics Inc.

Convoy Therapeutics Inc.’s SPACE platform for delivering large molecule drugs through the skin is based on a class of peptides that associate with keratin proteins, and the peptides get passed from one to the other until they diffuse across the outer layer of skin. The peptides can be formulated to envelop drug molecules. Convoy is using drugs that are already FDA approved, and because they have not been chemically modified, the FDA will not require additional clinical trials. The company’s first product delivers the immune-modulating drug cyclosporine for the treatment of moderate to severe psoriasis.

Cellceutix Corp.

These days, most start-up companies intent on developing a novel treatment for nearly any disease make a point of talking about their drug candidate’s presumed mechanism of action. It is pretty much de rigueur that a would-be drugmaker will discuss molecular something: if not the candidate itself, then certainly its target. But Cellceutix Corp. is not a typical start-up. Founded in June 2007, it became a publicly traded company through a reverse merger in December of that year. While the company appreciates the buzz that its anti-cancer candidate is generating, it is being a bit more tight-lipped about Prurisol, its novel drug candidate for psoriasis.

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