Technology ID

Method To Treat Numerous Dermatological Conditions

Lead Inventor
Hearing, Vincent (NCI)
Yamaguchi, Yuji (NCI)
Passeron, Thierry (NCI)
Therapeutic Areas
Development Stages
Lead IC

The National Cancer Institute's Laboratory of Cell Biology is seeking statements of capability or interest from parties interested in collaborative research to further develop, evaluate, or commercialize the use of DKK1 to treat abnormal pigmentation of the skin or to regulate hair growth.

Palmoplantar skin is found on a limited number of places on the body, such as on the soles of feet and palms of hands. Because of this limited availability, the ability to use non-palmoplantar skin from the trunk, arm, and face regions would provide a tremendous advantage in the treatment of numerous skin conditions.  This invention describes a method for developing palmoplantar skin from non-palmoplantar skin.  This effect is achieved by use of Dickkopf 1 (DKK1), a protein which is highly expressed by palmoplantar fibroblasts.  Topical application of DKK1 to non-palmoplantar skin induces the development of increased skin thickness, decreased pigmentation, and decreased hair growth. These characteristics are desirable for treating several dermatological conditions.

The skin thickening caused by topical application of DKK1 can be useful for abrasions; skin grafts; and skin ulcers, including diabetic foot ulcers.  Decreased skin pigmentation may be desirable for conditions such as uneven skin pigmentation, pigmented birthmarks, or post inflammatory pigmentation. Suppressed hair growth may be cosmetically beneficial in treating conditions such as hypertrichosis, adrenal hyperplasia, or polycystic ovarian syndrome. DKK1 treatment may also be important for treating or preventing certain melanomas which involve hyperplastic or pre-malignant lesions.

Further R&D Needed:

  • Development of techniques to deliver DKK1 to human skin to decrease its pigmentation and/or increase its thickness

Competitive Advantages:

  • Ability to develop palmoplantar skin from readily available non-palmoplantar skin
  • Method to thicken skin that can be useful for abrasions, skin grafts, and skin ulcers
  • Numerous potential for cosmetic applications including treatment of skin pigmentation disorders and hair growth regulation
  • Potential to treat or prevent various types of melanoma

Commercial Applications:

  • Useful for skin grafts, skin ulcers, skin abrasions, fragrance dermatitis, vitiligo, etc.
  • Treatment of several conditions which require decreased skin pigmentation
  • Decreased hair growth for cosmetic or therapeutic purposes
Licensing Contact:
Salgaller, Michael