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Breakthrough in Drug Options for Inflammatory Skin Diseases

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AMPEL BioSolutions today announces a breakthrough in precision and personalized medicine that could revolutionize the way doctors treat inflammatory skin diseases, such as Lupus, Psoriasis, Atopic Dermatitis and Scleroderma. Revealed in the peer-reviewed journal Science Advances, the paper details AMPEL’s breakthrough machine learning approach to characterize disease activity from gene expression data obtained from patient skin biopsies. The lab test, only a concept for the last few years, is now ready for development for practical use. AMPEL’s initial focus was Lupus, but the test can be used for many autoimmune or inflammatory skin diseases that affect more than 35 million Americans.

AMPEL’s innovative machine learning approach, which is now ready to be developed as a decision support biomarker test, could greatly impact health care by allowing physicians to identify the cause of patient disease symptoms and select appropriate treatment more precisely.  AMPEL’s approach is sufficiently sensitive to detect changes in clinically uninvolved skin so that early intervention may prevent systemic flares and skin damage apparent in lesions.  The application of AMPEL’s machine learning approach could also assist pharmaceutical companies in drug development and clinical trials.

Patients with chronic skin diseases often suffer from unpredictable disease activity that impacts daily activities like work and family life. Since unpredictable symptoms often result in trips to the Emergency Room, the ability to predict worsening disease and systemic involvement with routine skin biopsies has important health care and health economics implications.

Paired with AMPEL’s pipeline of tools to analyze very large and complex clinical datasets (“Big Data”), AMPEL’s machine learning program is a significant step towards implementing a routine skin test for monitoring disease activity and providing decision support for treatment based on a patient’s gene expression. This will transform the way doctors treat chronic skin diseases by using the information gathered by the lab test and analyzed by machine learning to diagnose, characterize the precise molecular abnormalities and treat skin diseases before damage begins, saving patients from pain and inconvenience of a disease that otherwise drastically affects their lives.

Pharmaceutical companies test drugs in clinical trials and face the challenge of enrolling patients that have the best potential to respond to the treatment being tested.  Enrolling the “wrong” patients can result in trial failure, often leading to cancellation of a drug’s development towards FDA approval that may have benefit in a sub-group of the overall patient population. AMPEL’s skin test will help pharmaceutical companies identify the patients most likely to respond to specific treatments, thereby helping improve outcomes in clinical trials.

Dr. Peter Lipsky, Chief Medical Officer and Co-Founder, AMPEL BioSolutions: “There is currently no other application that can precisely predict disease activity and propose appropriate treatments, and we are very encouraged by this breakthrough reported in Science Advances.  For those patients suffering with chronic skin diseases, meaningful innovation in treatments can’t come soon enough.  Following the development of our machine learning concept, we can now move forward in working with our partners to develop this skin test that could transform the way doctors can help patients with chronic skin disease manage their condition by offering better and more precise treatments based on individual patient data rather than a general approach.”

Dr. Amrie Grammer, Chief Scientific Officer and Co-Founder, AMPEL BioSolutions: “”Our team has developed a tool that can conceivably transform the way patients with skin conditions are treated.  As a precision medicine company, AMPEL is changing the paradigm of treatment in autoimmune and inflammatory diseases.  We are proud to be doing this work in Virginia and will continue to recruit talent and grow our business here.”

Dr. Wright Caughman, Professor, Department of Dermatology, Emory School of Medicine, and Exec VP for Health Affairs (Emeritus), Emory University: “AMPEL’s highly innovative skin biopsy test will provide an excellent new tool for the diagnosis and management of autoimmune and inflammatory diseases of the skin.  AMPEL is presenting this work at the Society for Investigative Dermatology meeting later this month.  Once AMPEL’s clinical genomic test is CLIA certified, physicians will be able to quickly identify the best medications for each individual patient and obtain faster and safer control of their disease.”

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About the author

editor

Editor in chief for eTurboNew is Linda Hohnholz. She is based in the eTN HQ in Honolulu, Hawaii.

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