Bacteria therapy for eczema shows promise in NIH study

An ongoing early-phase clinical trial at NIH indicates that a topical treatment with live <i>Roseomonas mucosa</i>&#8212;a bacterium naturally present on the skin&#8212;was safe for adults and children with eczema and was associated with reduced disease severity.

An ongoing early-phase clinical trial at NIH indicates that a topical treatment with live <i>Roseomonas mucosa</i>&#8212;a bacterium naturally present on the skin&#8212;was safe for adults and children with eczema and was associated with reduced disease severity. The new findings, published May 3 in <i>JCI Insight</i>, support further evaluation of this potential new therapy. Researchers at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases first tested the experimental treatment in 10 adult volunteers with atopic dermatitis. Twice a week for 6 weeks, the volunteers sprayed a solution of sugar water containing increasing doses of live <i>R. mucosa</i> onto their inner elbows and one additional skin area of their choice. The investigators observed a greater than 50% improvement in atopic dermatitis severity in four of the five children and six of the 10 adults. NIH has exclusively licensed the technology to Forte Biosciences to advance this potential new therapy through further clinical development. They found that strains of <i>R. mucosa</i> isolated from healthy skin produced chemicals that may enhance the skin's barrier and help regulate the immune system. In addition, some forms of parabens and some topical emollients blocked the growth of <i>R. mucosa</i> from healthy skin and did not have as strong an effect on growth of <i>Staphylococcus aureus</i> or eczema-associated <i>R. mucosa</i>.