Outdoors all day without your sunscreen?
Fell asleep in the noonday sun?
You think there’s nothing you can do about it except hope the burn doesn’t touch off the process of skin cancer development, right? Think again.
For the forgetful or merely careless sunbather, a new product under development by a New York-based biopharmaceutical company could one day soon keep skin damage at bay — even when the skin has already been burned and blistered by the sun’s powerful ultraviolet rays.
Dubbed the morning after skin cancer treatment, the drug known as T4N5 liposome lotion is topically applied to the skin once a day, following an episode of damaging sun exposure.? Its trade name is Dimericine.
Not Yet, Not Yet
Dimericine is presently approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration only for the treatment of the hereditary skin disease known as xeroderma pigmentosum (XP), a rare genetic disorder.? The lotion is not yet available for those who simply stay out in the sun too long, but its manufacturer — AGI Dermatics, Inc, a private company in Freeport, New York — is hoping for broader approval in the near future.
People with XP have been called children of the night because their bodies lack the ability to repair sun damage.? Typically many XP patients develop skin cancers very early in life unless they totally avoid sunlight.
A recent study of Dimericane presented at the May 2001 Photobiology session of the German Academy of Dermatology’s annual conference reported that the drug reduced the rate of skin cancer in some XP patients by 30% and reduced pre-cancerous skin changes by 68%, over and above the protection received from sunscreens. Daniel B. Yarosh, Ph.D., president of AGI Dermatics, explains, T4N5 liposome lotion supplements the missing enzyme in XP disease and reduces the rate at which cancers develop.
It Comes From the Ocean
T4N5 is manufactured from photolyase enzymes harvested from ocean-dwelling microbes known as Anacystis nidulans.? As these microbes float in the ocean, the photolyase absorbs visible light and helps them repair gene damage an essential task for an organism that spends its entire life cycle in the bright sunshine.
AGI Dermatics utilizes the pyotolayse to create a light-activated skin product by combining these enzymes with microscopic fat molecules. The company bills the product as the first product for skin enzyme replacement therapy.
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