NFlection is developing a topical gel formulation of a proprietary “soft” (metabolically labile) MEK inhibitor for the treatment of disfiguring childhood birthmarks such as keratinocytic epidermal nevi and nevi sebacei.
Keratinocytic epidermal nevi and nevi sebacei develop during childhood and persist into adulthood. These birthmarks present as raised rough yellow or brown patches of skin and often occur in visible areas such as on the face, scalp, torso or extremities, causing cosmetic distress and anxiety for patients. Currently, these birthmarks can only be treated surgically or mitigated with lasers.
Studies by Dr. Kavita Sarin and colleagues at Stanford have demonstrated that nevi sebacei and the majority of keratinocytic epidermal nevi develop due to overactivation of the Ras/Raf/MEK/ERK signaling pathway, most commonly through activating mutations in HRAS, NRAS or KRAS. MEK inhibitors block Ras/Raf/MEK/ERK signaling downstream of these genetic alterations and represent a promising targeted therapeutic for these disfiguring birthmarks.