Fighting Skin Diseases
Biopharmaceutical Research Companies Are Developing Nearly 300 Medicines to Treat Diseases of the Skin
Skin is the largest organ of the human body.
It prevents germs from entering the body and damaging internal organs, supports all other body parts, and plays a role in maintaining the immune system. The skin also helps to regulate body temperature through the sweat glands and is responsible for the sense of touch. At any given time, one in three people in the United States suffers from a skin disease. These diseases affect people of all ages, racial and ethnic populations and economic status.
Skin diseases ranging from acne to psoriasis and from melanoma to infections, are more common than most people know and they come with not only a medical but also a financial burden. According to a study by the Lewin Group, the total annual cost of skin diseases was estimated at $39.3 billion in 2005.
More than 100 million Americans suffer from at least one skin disease – that's one-third of the United States population. Acne is the most common skin condition in the United States, affecting up to 50 million Americans at any one time.Learn more
The survival rate for patients whose melanoma is detected early, before the tumor has penetrated the skin is about 99 percent. The survival rate falls to 15 percent for those with advanced disease.
Researching Melanoma - Progress emerging from years of setbacks
We have seen exciting progress in medicines to treat melanoma recently. These advances built on knowledge gained from many unsuccessful investigational drugs.
A total of 96 potential medicines to treat melanoma were cut from the biopharmaceutical pipeline between 1998 and 2014. In that same period 7 were approved by the FDA.
These so-called “failures” are very disappointing to researchers but they are also a chance to learn and future medicines build on them. In melanoma all this research is bearing fruit.
1 Person Per Hour
One person dies of melanoma every hour (every 62 minutes). An estimated 114,900 new cases of melanoma were diagnosed in the United States in 2010, with nearly 8,700 resulting in death. Melanoma accounts for less than 5 percent of skin cancer cases, but it causes more than 75 percent of skin cancer deaths.Learn more
Medicines in the Pipeline
Biopharmaceutical research companies are developing nearly 300 medicines to treat diseases of the skin.
A recombinant protein
- In development for skin cancer that is designed to trigger an immune response against specific tumor cells.
A first-in-class medicine
-For drug-resistant skin infections with broad-spectrum antibacterial activity.
An enzyme inhibitor
-A first-in-class medicine in development for psoriasis that inhibits an enzyme that plays a role in T-cell activation, an early step in autoimmune diseases.
View additional resources to learn more about medicines currently in development to treat skin diseases:
View the full 2011 report on medicines in development for diseases of the skin.
Read the media release from PhRMA on medicines in development for skin disease.
What are you most excited about in the fight against cancer?