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SkinBioTherapeutics on track to start first human study for its cosmetic application this year

There is a growing awareness of the SkinBiotix platform technology from the skin healthcare industry
Woman applying make-up
The company is still debating whether to produce the cosmetic formulation as a gel, a cream or a lotion

Skin-health specialist SkinBioTherapeutics PLC (LON:SBTX) remains on track with the development of its three flagship programmes.

In its half-year results statement covering the second half of 2017, the life sciences company said it ended the year with £3.6mln in cash, up from £400,000 or so a year earlier.

READ: SkinBioTherapeutics awarded first patent in Australia

Dr Cath O'Neill, the company's chief executive officer, said that since the company's flotation last year, the team had consistently delivered on the objectives outlined in its Aim admission document.

During the reporting period, the priorities were expanded to include the manufacturing and scale-up capability and testing of the initial formulations.

The manufacture of the chemical compound has been successfully replicated and scaled-up by a third party to 50 times the volume currently produced in the laboratory.

The company can now produce sufficient volumes to support the formulation work and the forthcoming cosmetic human study, and the next stage will be to achieve industrial size scale-up, which it is currently working on.

In the meantime, the company is still debating whether to produce the formulation as a gel, a cream or a lotion.

The progress made across all these areas has ensured that the company remains on track to start its first human study for the cosmetic application in the third quarter of this year. The execution and results of this study will be a key point for the development of the cosmetic product, which is already generating early, initial interest from potential commercial partners, O'Neill revealed.

Anti-infection and eczema

Elsewhere, further progress has been made with the anti-infection and eczema programmes.

A 'time-course' study has confirmed that the frequency of application required for protection is three times daily; this indicates that for protection against the Staphylococcus aureus infection, for both the eczema and anti-infection programmes, an application will be required every five hours.

In addition, the company has finalised a dosing level at which the technology can be used safely, for all three programmes.

With this programme progression, the management team has been able to build upon extensive industry relationships and early-stage commercial discussions continue regarding both the cosmetic application and the core SkinBiotix technology, O'Neill revealed.

READ: SkinBioTherapeutics technology gets double green light - next stop human studies

As a pre-revenue company, the profit & loss numbers are not especially relevant, but for the record the loss before tax widened to £386,523 from £254,990 in the second half of 2016, partly reflecting an increase in research & development costs to £125,283 from £89,952 the year before.

"We have made significant progress in the past six months around our SkinBiotix technology and we are on track with the advancement of all three indications in cosmetics, anti-infection and eczema," O'Neill said.

"There is a growing awareness of our SkinBiotix platform technology from the skin healthcare industry, based on the reputation of our team and our 'science-led' business approach. With continued work on our technology and the start of human studies in Q3, we are building further value for shareholders and a strong position from which to hold potential commercial discussions," she added.

Northland Capital Partners was looking forward to SkinBio sealing some licensing opportunities.

"The skin microbiome is becoming an increasingly important field of scientific research. SkinBioTherapeutics has observed that the cosmetic industry is transitioning to products and applications with scientific validation. Having this at its core, the key focus to date has centred on preparation for the initial human studies, which should lead to further commercial negotiations in partnering and licensing opportunities," the broker said.

The shares were down half a penny at 8p in mid-morning trading. 

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