Fighting against Atopic Dermatitis: Innovative ideas from LabCeTi led by Yves Poumay selected through AlmirallShare

Almirall is a skin-health focused pharmaceutical company, whose headquarters are located in Barcelona. In 2017, the company launched the open innovation platform AlmirallShare to facilitate the emergence of collaborations with universities and research centers all over the world having an interest in dermatological research. Since its launch, over 850 scientists have subscribed to the platform and have submitted nearly 350 proposals. Thanks to this tool, Almirall selected and implemented six international research collaborations, including a project in partnership with Prof. Yves Poumay.

The Cell and Tissue Laboratory (LabCeTi) of the UNamur led by Prof. Yves Poumay has more than 15 years of experience and a world-renowned expertise in skin research. The lab is a pioneer in developing 3D in vitro skin models as alternative methods for toxicological testing. Moreover, their research aims at developing skin models mimicking features of several epidermal diseases, in order to better understand disease pathogenesis and to potentially screen new curative or preventive treatments.

Of particular interest to Almirall was the PhD thesis of Dr. Evelyne De Vuyst focusing on atopic dermatitis (AD), the most common chronic inflammatory skin disease and the most common form of eczema in childhood. Her doctoral work consisted of reproducing epidermal barrier alterations in an in vitro reconstructed human epidermis as a model for AD. The collaboration with Almirall will now allow to further explore the involvement of novel receptors and signaling pathways in the phenotypic alterations of keratinocytes in AD and to investigate their potential relevance as therapeutic targets. The financial support provided by Almirall will enable Audrey Progneaux, PhD student at the LabCeTI, to drive forward this original research project.