SCENESSE® is an injectable controlled-release implant formulation containing 16mg of afamelanotide, a novel molecule from a family of drugs known as melanocortins. SCENESSE® is the first melanocortin approved by a leading regulatory authority for the prevention of skin burns and symptoms in EPP. The drug provides anti-oxidative effects and activates the skin’s dark pigment, eumelanin, providing EPP patients with a biological barrier between their skin and the various wavelengths of light triggering phototoxic reactions.
The clinical relevance of SCENESSE® is to facilitate patients to expose themselves to light and UV, preventing them from incurring the characteristic burns seen in EPP. SCENESSE® has been clinically trialled in over 900 patients, including 350 adult EPP patients. In October 2014 the European Medicines Agency recommended approval for SCENESSE® under exceptional circumstances.
About erythropoietic protoporphyria (EPP)
EPP is characterised by severe phototoxicity (absolute intolerance to light) of the skin resulting in intolerable pain, swelling, scarring and a state of distress. During phototoxic episodes patients experience long-term swelling of the exposed body surfaces such as the face, hands and feet. A severe reaction – triggered by exposure to light, particularly UV light – may result in hospitalisation. Patients do not respond to any analgesics or medication and following light exposure are typically unable to function. Due to the known risk to light and UV, patients often lead lifelong an isolated indoor life deprived of normal activities.
Scenesse is available through Clinuvel.
Last Updated: 22/March/2015