Scenesse Shows Promise for Acne

Written by on September 19, 2012 in Scenesse (Afamelanotide Implant 16mg) with 0 Comments

Scenesse has been tested as a treatment for acne, and the results are looking good.

Before you get too excited, though, lets get all the disclaimers out of the way right up front …

  • Clinuvel, the developers of Scenesse are not currently pursuing Scenesse as a treatment for acne
  • The study presented was very small, just 3 patients.
  • The study still has speculative results, the researchers want more studies before a conclusion can be reached.

Even though it might be seen as one step close to Scenesse /  Afamelanotan being tested as a treatment for rosacea, the first disclaimer is worth understanding.

Clinuvel is about Photoprotection and Pigmentation

The strategy of Clinuvel is to develop Scenesse as a treatment for conditions that require photoprotection or pigmentation. This is the niche that makes sense for them. So far, “EPP (Erythropoietic Protoporphyria) was the indication with the best opportunity to prove SCENESSE was a safe and effective treatment” . [ref]

So it remains very unlikely that we will see Scenesse proposed as a treatment for rosacea in the near future.

Still, it is encouraging that researching is expanding the possible application of Afamelanotan to conditions beyond EPP.


Beneficial effects of the melanocortin analogue Nle(4) -d-Phe(7) -α-MSH in acne vulgaris.

J Eur Acad Dermatol Venereol. 2012 Jul 27, Böhm M, Ehrchen J, Luger TA., Department of Dermatology, University of Münster, Münster, Germany.

Background: α-Melanocyte-stimulating hormone (α-MSH) is a melanocortin peptide that increases skin pigmentation during ultraviolet light-mediated tanning.

As α-MSH has been shown to possess anti-inflammatory effects, we assessed the clinical potential of a superpotent α-MSH analogue, afamelanotide (Nle(4) -d-Phe(7) -α-MSH), in patients with acne vulgaris, the most common inflammatory skin disorder.

Methods: Afamelanotide (16 mg) was given in a phase II open-label pilot study subcutaneously as a sustained-release resorbable implant formulation to 3 patients with mild-to-moderate facial acne vulgaris.

Evaluation included lesion count, adverse effects and patient-reported outcome. Monitoring of laboratory parameters included differential blood counts, electrolytes, urine analysis, and liver and kidney function tests. Skin melanin density was measured by reflectance spectrophotometry.

Results: The total number as well as the number of inflammatory acne lesions declined in all patients 56 days after the first injection of afamelanotide.

Life quality as measured by Dermatology Life Quality Index likewise improved in all 3 patients 56 days after the first injection of afamelanotide.

There were no adverse effects except mild and short-term fatigue in one patient. All patients experienced increased pigmentation especially on the face.

Clinically relevant changes in laboratory parameters were not detected.

Conclusions: Afamelanotide appears to have anti-inflammatory effects in patients with mild-to-moderate acne vulgaris.

Future trials are needed to confirm the anti-inflammatory action of this melanocortin analogue in patients with acne vulgaris.

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

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