Finding new rosacea drugs with computer models `in-silico’

Written by on July 9, 2024 in research, What Causes Rosacea? with 0 Comments

I’m tempted to include AI somehow in this article title – because, you know, AI is the new answer to all our old problems, right? This really intriguing article actually has nothing to do with Artificial Intelligence, much more to do with the intelligence by applying clever modelling technologies by researchers who know how to use them. Whilst the article is quite technical, the intent is clear. It is now possible to find and test novel molecules that can interrupt inflammatory pathways thought to be important in the development of rosacea. To be more specific, this research used computers to look for a treatment against Kallikrein-5 (KLK5) and another that further inhibited the effect of Cathelicidin LL-37. As the paper tells us “Excessive activation of KLK5 and LL-37 can lead to chronic inflammation and manifest in symptoms like facial redness, swelling, and the formation of pustules.”

You’ve heard of in-vitro right? well this piece of research uses a drug testing method called in-silico. A cute name that indicates the testing has all been done inside computers using models to simulate the interactions between proteins in our body. This technique has the potentially to rapidly create, test and most importantly confirm or reject new rosacea treatments, without the need for human clinical trials. The human body is spectacularly complex, and well-constructed trials are the only way to really prove a treatment, but this technology should see treatments brought to trial much more quickly.


Rasayan J. Chem., 17(3), 875-896(2024),

Rosacea is a skin condition characterized by inflammation, and efforts to develop its treatment are ongoing. Overactivation of the enzymes Kallikrein-5 (KLK5) and peptide Cathelicidin (LL-37) has been identified as a regulatory factor in rosacea. Excessive activation of KLK5 and LL-37 can lead to chronic inflammation and manifest in symptoms like facial redness, swelling, and the formation of pustules.

These findings highlight the potential of these compounds in inhibiting KLK5 activity and disrupting
LL-37 interactions in the context of rosacea treatment.

The paper indicates that these new (unnamed) compounds will be created and research into their biological activity will come next. That is, the researchers will seek to confirm that the computer model of the interaction of these compounds with the inflammatory pathway play out as expected in the real world.

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

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