SkinJect, Inc., a Pittsburgh-based company, announced completion of a license with the University of Pittsburgh to its minimally invasive treatment for common forms of non-melanoma skin cancer, basal cell and squamous cell carcinoma.
The SkinJect patch is a thumb-sized array of dissolvable microneedles that will deliver a chemotherapeutic agent to kill an existing skin cancer. The SkinJect patch will be applied once a week, for three weeks, in the doctor’s office. The microneedles, less than a millimeter long, dissolve within 15 minutes of application.
Louis D. Falo, M.D., Ph.D., who chairs Pittsburgh’s Department of Dermatology, is a co-inventor of the microneedle patch, along with O. Burak Ozdoganlar, Ph.D., professor in Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science and Engineering, Carnegie Mellon University. Both inventors serve as scientific advisors to the company as it develops the array.
“The SkinJect patch is a promising novel approach to combating cancer,” Falo said. “Right now, a standard of care for basal cell carcinoma is Mohs micrographic surgery, which can be expensive, painful, and disfiguring. The SkinJect patch will offer a cost-effective way to treat an existing cancer and potentially prevent it from coming back again later in life.”
“We’re excited to have concluded this deal with a company headquartered in Pittsburgh,” said Marc Malandro, Founding Director of the University of Pittsburgh Innovation Institute, who also serves as chairman of Pennsylvania Bio, the state’s life sciences trade organization. “A number of local biotech entrepreneurs – including Anthony Florence, who played a pivotal role in providing early seed money for this project – have supported SkinJect.”
The company plans to file an IND (Investigational New Drug) application, a request to the FDA to begin administering the device to humans, by late 4th quarter 2016 or early 1st quarter 2017.