Skin diseases such as melanoma and psoriasis represent a major health concern in the world today. For example, psoriasis affects more than 100 million people worldwide, and is responsible for twice the disability burden caused by acute hepatitis C (WHO; http://apps.who.int/iris/bitstream/10665/204417/1/9789241565189_eng.pdf) . REPROCELL provides products and services to develop new therapies for serious skin diseases.
Alvetex Scaffolds (AVP005) can be used to create 3D, multi-layer full thickness skin models. Histologically, this model skin is similar to normal human skin, showing fully developed stratum corneum. This model has been used to study dermal invasion by melanoma cells, giving a good model to study treatments for melanoma. REPROCELL run this assay as a service, or you can set it up in your own lab to model skin function and disease.
Above: Histological analysis of skin equivalents developed using Alvetex (left panel) or normal human skin (right panel).
Fresh human skin is cultured in media and a psoriasis-like phenotype is induced using a proprietary cocktail of compounds and test compounds are applied in order to test their ability to reduce inflammation. After stimulation of the Th17 pathway, the inhibition of inflammation by potential new drugs is assessed by determining release of cytokines such as IL-17 or IL-22 using a Luminex assay. The example data below shows the inhibition of inflammation by the standard of care compound, calcipotriol. The data from diseased tissues thus complements the information from the healthy human tissue systems and provides the researcher with translational models to answer many drug discovery questions.