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Derm In The News: February 4-10

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Keep up with the latest headlines in dermatology from the past week, including biotech's potential role in alleviating symptoms of skin disease, new sun safety guidelines in Australia, and more.

Financial Times: New biotech aims to alleviate suffering caused by skin diseases

A new biotech company, Alys Pharma, is set to launch with $100m in seed financing, aiming to utilize immunology to treat various skin diseases. Led by Medicxi and founded by university scientists, Alys plans to become a leader in immuno-dermatology with 14 active R&D programs targeting conditions like psoriasis, eczema, itching, and vitiligo. With a focus on biological therapies, including siRNA and antibodies, the company aims to enter a growing market by addressing unmet needs in dermatology, such as itch suppression. Alys intends to bring early clinical trial results for 7 to 10 treatments within the next 3 years.

The Guardian: Australia’s sun safety guidelines updated to take account of diverse skin types

Australia has introduced new sun safety guidelines influenced by research highlighting the health benefits of sun exposure and recognizing genetic variations in the population. Led by Prof Rachel Neale from the QIMR Berghofer medical research institute, the guidelines say that sun protection is less crucial for individuals with darker skin, who are at higher risk of vitamin D deficiency. While emphasizing the importance of sunscreen for most Australians, the guidelines suggest allowing some sun exposure for individuals with darker skin to obtain vitamin D and other benefits.

Phys.org: Physicist advancing skin cancer screening and diagnosis using terahertz waves

Professor Emma MacPherson, a physicist at the University of Warwick, is pioneering the use of terahertz radiation for medical imaging to improve skin cancer diagnosis and screening. Terahertz radiation, unlike X-rays, is non-ionizing and poses no health risks, making it safe for repeated exposure. Professor MacPherson's team is developing a screening device utilizing terahertz frequencies, leveraging their ability to detect changes in skin hydration levels indicative of skin cancer.

WBUR: How pollution from Canada's wildfires is damaging our skin

Last summer's forest fires in Quebec and Nova Scotia led to days of obscured daylight in the northeast, particularly affecting New York. Dermatologist Shadi Kourosh, MD, MPH, observed a significant rise in skin conditions treated at Massachusetts General Hospital, prompting her to investigate further. Her study, published in Dermatology and Therapy, explores the impact of acute pollution on skin and health, highlighting the need for awareness and preventive measures.

Have you seen any dermatology headlines this week that we may have missed? Share with us by emailing our team at DTEditor@mmhgroup.com.

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