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Patent Pick: Silencing Sweat

Contact Author Rachel Grabenhofer
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A new patent application from Unilever describes an unprecedented approach to reducing perspiration in human skin: the use of oligonucleotides known as small-interfering RNA (siRNA). These entities can regulate the gene expression, post-transcriptionally, of proteins involved in the sweating process.

According to the inventors, existing antiperspirant actives are typically synthetic astringent salts based on aluminum and/or zirconium. They operate by blocking or partially blocking the sweat ducts, thereby reducing perspiration.

Other methods involve targeting the secretory coils of the sweat glands; in particular, the eccrine glands. Some of these have been positioned to treat hyperhidrosis. However, leveraging siRNA is a new and effective means to directly regulate perspiration and alleviate hyperhidrosis; the patent explains.

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Antiperspirant composition
U.S. Patent Application 20180037894
Publication date: Feb. 8, 2018
Assignee: Unilever/Conopco, Inc.

As stated, this invention describes a method for reducing perspiration by topically applying a composition including an siRNA capable of reducing levels of specified proteins, their mRNA, or the function or formation of their associated calcium channels. Said proteins include Orai1, Stim1, Orai3, TRPC1 or Stim2.

The siRNA used in the present invention is thought to interfere with the mRNA of these specified proteins and thereby reduce their levels in cells. These proteins are involved in the regulation of calcium levels within human cells, particularly human eccrine cells. Some of the proteins (Orai1, Orai3 and TRPC1) are actual calcium channel proteins while others (Stim1 and Stim2) are calcium sensors or activators.

Since calcium levels in human eccrine glands are critical to sweat generation, and this method can reduce calcium levels, the disclosed approach offers an effective treatment for hyperhidrosis. In addition to the specified materials, antiperspirant compositions and methods are disclosed.

Patent application accessed on Feb. 19, 2018.

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