Cutanea Life Sciences (Omiganan) has just 2 employees


A new story by Mike Armstrong in the Philadelphia Enquirer tells us that the company behind Omiganan, a new treatment targeted at rosacea, has just 2 employees.

Described as a “Development-stage dermatology products maker” and “a virtual company that in-licenses compounds from other companies”, Cutanea shows that small startup-scale companies can at least gain momentum in the dermatology development market.

One way that small dermatology companies can grow is to go public. Cutanea believe that their topical cationic peptide Omiganan forms part of a compelling product portfolio, worth forming a public listed company around.

Cutanea seeks to be 3rd Philly-area life-sciences IPO of 2010

According to a prospectus filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, it has just two employees – president and chief executive officer Robert Bitterman and Kimberley Forbes-McKean, its chief scientific officer.

Cutanea hopes to raise $13 million from an IPO and use about $4 million to fund a Phase III study of a treatment for rosacea, an inflammatory skin condition characterized by redness in the face.

Rosacea News featured Omiganan in this recently list of What’s Hot in New Rosacea Treatments. Cutanea is seeking to raise $13m, partly in order to complete trials for Omiganan.

Further details from the SEC Filing for the IPO include:

  • Cutanea suggest that Omiganan is superior to Metrogel and Finacea because as well as being able to clear the papules and pustules of rosacea, it also is effective against the “secondary signs and symptoms of rosacea including peeling, dryness, itching, burning and erythema (redness).” Thus the primary endpoint for the phase III trial will be for the inflammatory lesions of rosacea and the secondary endpoint being the so-called secondary signs.
  • Omigana has been tested as a once daily 2.5% gel.
  • The phase III trial is expected to commence in mid-2011 and involve 600 participants using either Omiganan or placebo for 12 weeks.
  • All things going well the development process hopes to file a New Drug Application in 2013.
  • Cutanea also plan to target atopic dermatitis with Omiganan.
  • Cutanea has licensed the exclusive worldwide rights for dermatological uses to omiganan from Biowest Therapeutics Inc.

[update:] November 15, 2010. We have been told that Cutanea has postponed the IPO for a second time.

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About the Author: David Pascoe started the Rosacea Support Group in October 1998. .

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