Currently, there is no definitive and effective treatment for pathological scars (keloids and hypertrophic scars), which is a significant part of the USD 17.94 billion (2018, CAGR of 9.9%) global scar therapy market. Patients inflicted with pathological scars suffer from physical, mental and social comorbidity, and have described themselves as “desperate for any treatment that will actually work”.
The team from Nanyang Technological University Singapore, led by Prof Timothy Tan, provides the world’s first clinically effective and pain-free treatment of pathological scars using topical siRNA microneedles. This TRL5 patented technology comprises of a dissolvable microneedle containing activated siRNA for scar treatment.
The microneedle provides painless transdermal delivery of gene-silencing siRNA to cellular environment, significantly diminishing the production of collagen and achieving scar reduction. The Team has identified a strong customer segment comprising patients inflicted with pathological scars and individuals who want to prevent any form of scarring after surgery or skin trauma. The Team is currently working towards clinical trials with clinical partners from Singapore National Skin Centre.
TECHNOLOGY FEATURES & SPECIFICATIONS
Currently, there is no effective anti-scarring product available in the market. This technology comprises of a dissolvable microneedle containing activated siRNA for scar treatment. The microneedle provides painless transdermal delivery of gene-silencing siRNA to cellular environment, significantly diminishing the production of collagen and achieving scar reduction. This biocompatible pain-free and simple application can be used as topical and localized treatment on wound or on scar sites.
The current innovation comprises of a patented technology that activates and protects siRNA against degradation in the body, so that they can effectively silence the targeted gene to achieve protein downregulation. Therefore, it is a platform technology that can be used for a wide range targets to achieve effective siRNA delivery and gene silencing, including the treatment and prevention of pathological and surgical scars (as described in this innovation), and others such as anti-wrinkle, anti-pigmentation or anti-inflammation of the skin.
Currently, silicone gel / sheets are commonly used for scar treatment, which has been shown to be clinically ineffective. Treatment by steroid injection into scars shows limited success, but it is painful and suffers from high rate of scar recurrence. The current siRNA-microneedle patch is effective because it directly addresses the root cause of excessive collagen production in scars, and is pain-free and easy to use, which significantly improves treatment adherence.