SCENESSE: Clinical trials for new vitiligo treatment - part 1


A new drug called Scenesse is being developed and tested by Clinuvel, an Australian company. Currently it is in phase II and III of clinical trials. Clinuvel states that it's product will be an effective therapy in nonsegmental vitiligo (symmetry in the vitiligo spots on one's body).

A clear date for it's commercial release is not yet known.

How does it work ?

The drug consists of a 16mg subcutaneous implant, meant to deliver the active substance (afamelanotide) where it is injected. The implant is the size of a rice grain and once injected, it auto-dissolves, stimulating pigment cells to produce melanin, the dark brown pigment responsible for skin coloration. It's producers say that increased pigmentation appears after two days and lasts up to two months. This could involve periodic treatment sessions for patients with vitiligo.

When will it be available ?

Hard to tell. In phase II of clinical trials, drugs and treatments are tested on large number of people in order to assess their safety. Data is recorded in rating scales during this stage. Phase III involves testing on even more people. In this stage, researchers will look closely at the drug's effectiveness and safety in usage. After this phase, most drugs are considered FDA approved.