Patent Pick: Bacteria vs. Bacteria Clash Over Acne


The body's microbiome. In recent years, cosmetic science has taken notice of its influence on health and skin condition. In fact, according to a new patent application, beneficial bacteria can be used to suppress the growth of pathogenic bacteria.

This is not a new concept; we've reported similar applications in the past. Approaches have included competitively consuming nutrients; producing inhospitable conditions for pathogens; introducing toxic compounds to pathogens; even acting on specific binding sites to make fewer available for pathogens. However, this invention relates specifically to improving the ability of beneficial bacteria to suppress pathogenic bacteria that cause acne.

According to the present patent application, in the United States alone, acne affects 40 to 50 million people, and 20-25% suffer from moderate to severe acne. U.S. sales of the top 10 branded acne therapeutics include $1.5 billion in systemic retinoids, $700 million in oral antibiotics, $600 million in topical antibiotics and $240 million in topical retinoids.

Yet, the prevalence of acne is approximately 80% among adolescents and 50% among young adults.Thus, acne remains an area of significant unmet need as far as treatment options. This invention aims to address this need.

Ammonia oxidizing bacteria for treatment of acne
WIPO Patent Application WO/2017/004557
Publication date: Jan. 5, 2017
Assignee: AOBiome LLC

Diclosed in this patent application is a method for treating acne by administering a prepraration containing ammonia-oxidizing bacteria (AOB) to the skin. In some embodiments, this treatment also addresses: inflammatory lesions, e.g., papules, pustules, cysts/nodules; non-inflammatory lesions, e.g., open comedones, closed comedones; post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation/post inflammatory erythema (PIH/PIE) lesions; and erythema, edema, scaling, stinging, burning and itching, among others.

According to these inventors, AOB of the genus Nitrosomonas are Gram-negative obligate autotrophic bacteria that have a unique capacity to generate nitrite and nitric oxide exclusively from ammonia. Due to the roles of nitrite and nitric oxide in human skin, such as vasodilation, skin inflammation and wound healing, these bacteria can have beneficial properties for both healthy and immunopathological skin conditions.

Further, these bacteria are safe for use because they are slow-growing, cannot grow on organic carbon sources, may be sensitive to soaps and antibiotics, and have not been associated with disease or infection in animals or humans.

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