Fluence Therapeutics

(Akron, Ohio USA and Tampere, Finland)

  • Fluence Therapeutics Inc. is a spinoff of Case Western Reserve University and University Hospitals Case Medical Center in Cleveland, Ohio USA commercializing photodynamic therapy (PDT) for the treatment of psoriasis and other skin diseases.  The company is headquartered in Akron, Ohio and has a wholly owned subsidiary in Tampere, Finland.  The company is pursuing its initial commercialization in Europe; has received funding from Tekes (the government of Finland) and the European Commission; and is participating in the European Commission backed Phos-Istos consortium which includes a number of thought leaders from throughout Europe.  See www.phosistos.com.

  • The company's products combine a novel photosensitizer known as Pc 4 which is inert unless activated by a narrow wave band of visible red light; a light source which can simultaneously treat large heterogeneous lesions on different body parts at high, uniform power; and disposable covers to maintain cleanliness.  

  • Phase Ia studies have been successfully completed for both psoriasis and cutaneous t cell lymphoma, which had excellent results and demonstrated human proof of principle.  Fluence is planning a proof of concept Phase Ib/IIa study for psoriasis in Tampere, Finland.  Other potential applications include acne, fungal (e.g., nail) infections, eczema, skin rejuvenation and hair restoration.

  • The psoriasis drug market is expected to grow to $6.8 billion (5.2B Euros) by 2019.  The Company projects a worldwide market for its psoriasis products of $1.3 billion (1B Euros).   

  • Current treatment for difficult cases of psoriasis  typically falls within two categories:  light therapy or systemic prescription medications.  Existing light therapies require repeated exposure to ultraviolet (UV) light, which is a known carcinogen, leads to premature photoaging and requires many treatments.  Systemic pharmaceuticals have varying efficacy rates depending on the patient, are contraindicated in many cases, are very expensive and have been shown to increase the risk of infection and certain cancers such as lymphomas.