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The Belgian SME is a research-based service provider making use of innovative skin models and methods to address efficacy & mechanisms of action of new products. In the context of chronic inflammatory skin diseases, the SME has developed specific models mimicking atopic dermatitis and psoriasis. These models are validated and respond positively to treatment with different benchmarks. The SME is looking for partners involved in new drug/product discovery and development for technical cooperation.
The Belgian company is a research-based in vitro testing service provider making use of innovative skin models and methods to address efficacy and mechanisms of action of new products. The topics of research include inflammation and pigmentation disorders, wound healing, and ageing.
Chronic inflammatory skin lesions are very common. While they occur in many different forms and exhibit a wide range of clinical conditions, they all involve a complex interplay between the skin barrier function, environmental factors, and immune responses. Current treatments are usually directed at decreasing
cutaneous inflammation and alleviating pruritus, but they do not correct the underlying barrier defects that drive the process. Therefore, intense research has been performed to develop specific strategies to restore the epidermal integrity under inflammatory conditions.
In this context, the company has developed specific in vitro models able to reproduce characteristic features of such chronic inflammatory disorders. These models are validated for screening and study of the mechanisms of action. They respond favorably to treatments with different benchmarks. (see below).
With a strong commitment to extensive research and development, the company has been involved in many collaborative works requiring international cooperation such as European Framework programs (FP7) and Eurostars projects. In order to use and further develop its innovative models, the company is looking for other companies or research groups who are developing cosmetic, pharmaceutic and skin care products and need to test their biological activity or study their mechanisms of action. The type of partnerships the company would consider technical cooperation agreements.
In the context of chronic inflammatory skin, while different in vitro models are able to reproduce characteristic features of specific disorders, few of them have been fully validated to respond favorably to treatments. The company has developed 3 models reproducing characteristic features of atopic dermatitis and psoriasis.
These models are validated for screening and study of the mechanisms of action. They respond favorably to treatments with different benchmarks.
In addition to these models and related functional assays, the company has also developed a bioinformatic tool with a unique skin-specific gene expression database that benefits from the state-of-the-art expertise in skin biology. This tool is very powerful to study the effects of new compounds at the whole transcriptome level and to better understand the mechanisms of action.
Overall, the strengths of the company are:
* Strong commitment in R&D
* Validation of the models with benchmarks
* Model publications in peer reviewed journals
* Highly motivated and skilled scientists (6 PhD, 4 MSc)
* Expertise and know-how dedicated to skin biology
* Highly reactive, ease of dealing
* Deep expertise in bioassay development, gene expression profiling and data interpretation
* Deep expertise in organotypic 3D cultures, especially with reliable and standardized in vitro reconstituted skin and disease models.
* Access to multiple platforms for biological and physicochemical assays including tissue culture, ELISA, microfluidic high throughput qPCR, GeneChip®.
* Unique Skin-specific database that benefits from the state-of-the-art expertise in skin transcriptomics.
* 15 years of experience in customized in vitro bioassays and transcriptomics data analysis with a unique data interpretation skillset in skin biology.
The company is looking for other companies or research groups who are developing cosmetic, pharmaceutic and skin care products and need to test their biological activity or study their mechanisms of action. The type of partnerships the company would consider is a technical cooperation agreements.
Tools and platforms: Bioassay development, gene expression profiling (microarrays and TaqMan arrays), organotypic 3D cultures, reconstructed skin models, ELISA, immunohistochemistry, spectrophotometry, cellular biology, molecular biology.
Topics of research: Inflammation, sensitive skin, ageing, skin pigmentation and whitening, stress response, immune response.