Almirall kicks off another hunt for skin disease therapy partnerships

Spanish drugmaker Almirall has launched another search for early-stage research projects that it can partner in dermatology, its core area of expertise.

The latest edition of its AlmirallShare competition – which will take submissions until 31 October this year – is hunting for innovative therapies for skin diseases that are in the research or preclinical development stage.

The call “is addressed to scientists affiliated to start-ups, biotechs, universities, research centres, and pharmaceutical companies all over the world,” according to the drugmaker.

Pharma companies are increasingly turning to this sort of competitive tendering approach to make it easier to identify promising projects that can bulk up pipelines, with the lure of potentially lucrative collaborations, funding for research and in some cases cash prizes.

This will be the sixth AlmirallShare competition run by Almirall, which says the competition has been “a key tool for identifying successful strategic partnerships and [advancing] the field of medical dermatology.”

Earlier iterations have focused on immuno-inflammatory skin conditions, novel targets for skin health and pharmacological validated research models in skin diseases.

Since being set up in 20017, the drive has already results in at least eight different alliances, stemming from more than 400 proposals coming from 54 countries.

Last year, for example, the scheme started working with the University of South Australia and the Fundació Institut de Recerca de l’Hospital de la Santa Creu i Sant Pau in Spain to find new pathways for the treatment of skin cancer and atopic dermatitis – both proposals from the novel targets for skin health round.

The Australian team are focusing on molecular mechanisms underlying squamous cell carcinoma and a potential treatment, while the Spanish project is looking at exploring molecular markers that may help predict whether patients with atopic dermatitis respond to treatment.

The latest call is for “any therapeutic modality, such as small molecules, biologics or advanced therapies, in research or preclinical development stages, and target immuno-inflammatory pathways or be suitable for dermato-oncological or rare dermatological indications,” said Almirall.

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