The US-based biotechnology firm Signum Biosciences has signed investment and licensing agreements with Rohto Pharmaceutical based in Osaka, Japan.
Targeting the Japanese market
Through the deal the Japan-based company will get non-exclusive rights to develop and sell products containing Signum’s anti-inflammatory ingredient, Arazine.
In return Signum will receive significant license fees and investment funds which will help it continue to develop and expand its portfolio of skin care ingredients.
The two companies are in discussion over a potential deal that would give Rohto the exclusive rights for the Japanese market.
“Our collaboration will produce exciting products in 2009 that open up a new category of skincare agents,” said Signum CEO Dr Gregory Stocks.
In addition, Rohto CEO Kunio Yamada said that he will be serving on Signum’s board of directors and has invited the company to establish a laboratory in Kyoto’s research village.
Anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties
Arazine, along with Signum’s other skin care ingredients in the pipeline, are based on the company’s signal transduction modulation technology.
The molecule blocks the neutrophil infiltration to the skin, part of the body’s inflammatory response, by interfering with the G-protein-coupled signal transduction pathway.
According to the company, chronic inflammation leads to an influx of free radicals which damage cells. Not only can azarine block the pathway leading to this response, it also exhibits anti-oxidant properties that can neutralize free radical activity.
Azarine, therefore, helps to reverse the effect of chronic inflammation and slows down the aging process of the skin through its anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties, concludes the company.