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Sequential Skin Nabs $500K UK Grant to Study Skin Microbiome in Atopic Dermatitis

NEW YORK – Genomics startup Sequential Skin said Wednesday that it has been awarded a $500,000 Innovate UK SMART grant supporting the study of the skin microbiome in healthy and diseased skin using the company's kits.

London-based Sequential has previously commercialized a quantitative PCR-based skin microbiome testing kit for the personal care industry, which it said it has validated in collaboration with over 30 personal care, pharmaceutical, and skin care companies as a tool to evaluate how different product formulations affect the skin.

The new project, funded for 18 months, will focus on atopic dermatitis, a chronic and recurrent skin disease. Sequential said it will work alongside dermatologists in the UK's National Health Service to recruit AD patients and test them at different time points during disease progression, hoping to develop tools to better identify and stratify patients in the future.

"We see a future where patients with recurrent and debilitating skin conditions are diagnosed in a highly precise way, at the point of care, which can then be followed by effective and targeted treatment," Sequential CEO and Cofounder Oliver Worsley said in a statement.

"Sequential's technology will be highly disruptive in changing the way AD patients could be diagnosed and better treated in the future," added Natalya Fox, a dermatology trainee at St George's Hospital.