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Almirall and Etherna Collaborate to Develop mRNA-Based Therapies for Severe Skin Diseases


One of the specific areas of focus will be non-melanoma skin cancer.



Almirall recently announced its plans to collaborate with Etherna, an mRNA and lipid nanoparticle (LNP) technology platform company, in a multi-target alliance to discover and develop new mRNA-based therapies for severe skin diseases, including non-melanoma skin cancer.

The partnership combines and leverages Etherna’s proprietary mRNA capabilities and LNP formulations with Almirall’s expertise in medical dermatology to accelerate the discovery of novel treatment options. Delivery of LNP-formulated mRNA for transient and local translation of therapeutic proteins offers a unique opportunity to encode multiple therapeutically active components in a single treatment.

According to the announcement, Etherna and Almirall will work together on research, and Almirall will lead the clinical development and commercialization. From their agreement, Etherna will receive upfront and technology access payments. In addition, Etherna is eligible to receive success-based development and commercial milestone payments that could exceed $320 million, depending on the launch and commercial success of multiple products, as well as tiered royalties based on future global sales. Further financial details were not disclosed in the announcement.

“At Almirall, we always look for new solutions for patients suffering from skin diseases and we are thrilled about the strategic alliance with Etherna to strengthen our pipeline with mRNA-based assets,” said Karl Ziegelbauer, PhD, the Chief Scientific Officer of Almirall, in the news release.

Bernard Sagaert, the CEO of Etherna, also expressed his anticipation of the partnership, stating in the news release, “We are excited to partner with Almirall to advance mRNA therapeutics into medical dermatology. Almirall and Etherna share the vision that intradermal application of LNP-formulated mRNA is a highly promising strategy to bring novel, efficacious new treatment options that will deliver huge benefits to patients.”

Earlier this month, Almirall announced another upcoming partnership with the Barcelona Supercomputing Center (BSC) and Nostrum Biodiscovery (BSC’s first spin-off) to explore artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning generative approaches to design new protein-protein modulators that will be the basis of new therapies for dermatological diseases. The collaboration project with BSC and Nostrum, named ARTIBAND, will extend over a 3-year period. During its first phase, AI technology will be developed and trained based on public domain data. In its second phase, the program will be further enhanced to discover new protein-protein modulators of Almirall’s interest.


Almirall and Etherna enter into a multi-target alliance to develop mRNA-based therapies in medical dermatology. News release. Almirall. December 12, 2023. Accessed December 13, 2023. https://www.almirall.com/newsroom/news/almirall-and-etherna-enter-into-a-multi-target-alliance-to-develop-mrna-based-therapies-in-medical-dermatology

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