Azitra is an early stage, biotechnology company focused on treating skin conditions by harnessing the power of the microbiome and synthetic biology to enable an innovative, inexpensive, and convenient treatment modality.
Current treatment options for a number of skin diseases generally aim for symptomatic relief and fail to address underlying pathophysiological changes leading to skin disease. In the case of genetic mutations that cause loss of function mutations, supplementation of the missing protein is a viable approach to treatment. However, delivery of functional protein to the target keratinocytes presents a significant challenge; moreover, the cost of protein production and purification creates a significant hurdle to developing a commercially viable treatment. Finally, given the natural turnover rate in the skin, constant reapplication of protein would be needed, which compounds issues related to cost of treatment, adherence, and convenience.
Azitra is a preclinical company focused on microbiome-based therapeutics. We are developing a platform that consists of an engineered S. epidermidis that is able to establish residence on human skin and secrete therapeutic protein in situ. An ointment with an inoculum of such bacteria could be infrequently applied to skin, providing constant, low-cost, convenient delivery of therapeutic protein. Our first candidate, AZT-01 aims to restore the skin barrier in atopic dermatitis patients by delivering a key skin protein involved in the disease pathology.