Fighting Acne: A New Approach Sourced From Viruses

IBBR researchers receive funding to explore the use of viral proteins against the bacteria that cause acne

February 5, 2020

Over 80% of adolescents and an increasing number of adults are affected by acne vulgaris—commonly known as “acne”—a skin condition caused by the Cutibacterium acnes bacteria (formerly Propionibacterium acnes). The Institute for Bioscience and Biotechnology Research (IBBR) recently received a Technology Assessment award from the Maryland Innovation Initiative (MII), as part of the Innovation Commercialization Program at TEDCO, to support work on a new approach to targeting C. acnes. IBBR Fellow Dr. Daniel Nelson (Associate Professor, Department of Veterinary Medicine, University of Maryland, College Park) will lead the project.

MII Technology Assessment Awards provide $115,000 for nine months.  The goal of the program is to "foster the transition of promising technologies having significant commercial potential from Qualifying Universities, where they were discovered, to the commercial sector, where they can be developed into products and services that meet identified market needs." 

The MII funding will support Nelson’s work to characterize C. acnes-specific endolysins in the laboratory, develop and test delivery formulas, and begin to assess safety and efficacy in various model systems. The goal is to develop the first direct-lytic agent (DLA) against C. acnes as a new, easy-to -use, topical treatment modality for acne.    

Read more from the Institute for Bioscience and Biotechnology Research (IBBR).