Photodynamic therapy in development for the treatment of inflammatory lesions of acne.

Visonac® photodynamic therapy (PDT) combines the application of the Visonac® cream containing the photosensitizer methyl aminolevulinate followed by illumination by a red light source. Application of the cream leads to accumulation of photoactive porphyrins (PAPs) in target acne lesions that upon illumination generate reactive oxygen species, causing cell death. The mechanism of action appears to involve killing of bacteria (P. acnes) as well as specific action on sebaceous glands and inflammatory cells, thereby having a direct effect on multiple key parameters involved in the pathogenesis of acne.

Clinical trials have demonstrated that Visonac® is superior to placebo in treating patients with severe acne, and provides a safe and effective treatment in the management of inflammatory acne lesions. By avoiding the risks of increased antibiotic resistance from long term exposure, and providing a highly tolerable alternative to isotretinoin, Visonac® has the potential to satisfy a high unmet medical need.
The procedure involves applying the Visonac® cream to the acne area, and after a short incubation time, the skin is illuminated with red light.

Visonac® has shown solid results in a phase 2b trial published in Bristish Journal of Dermatology in 2016:
Photodynamic therapy with methyl aminolevulinate 80 mg/g for severe facial acne vulgaris: a randomized vehicle-controlled study. (Pariser DM et al, B J Derm 2016; 174, 770-777)

Baseline                                                                     Week 12 
 6 weeks after last treatment