One to three per cent of the world’s population suffers from psoriasis. There are no known medicines or treatment methods that give sufferers satisfactory and lasting relief. An intensive research effort at the Department of Biology at NTNU has resulted in the development of a group of compounds that can be used as a component in a new drug for the treatment of psoriasis. The compounds have been tested in vitro, and a patent application has been submitted with support from Leiv Eiriksson Nyskapning, a Norwegian company.

The researchers and inventors of the compound, most notably Professor Berit Johansen (photo) and Professor Emeritus Lars Skattebøl (University of Oslo), have formed the company Avexxin AS in cooperation with the Danish company Ventac Partners and Leiv Eiriksson Nyskapning AS. Avexxin’s chief aim is to develop the new medicine for the treatment of psoriasis. The group is applying for funding to perform clinical studies.

The company also plans to develop medicines for the treatment of other chronic diseases. The market for psoriasis medicines is expected to expand from US $1 billion in 2005 to more than US $3 billion in 2009.