The exact cause of hidradenitis suppurativa is unknown, but it occurs near hair follicles where there are sweat glands, usually around the groin, bottom, breasts, and armpits.
Currently, effective therapies for the disease are limited, leading to a great unmet need for better treatment options.
A new study presented at the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology (EADV) Congress 2021, confirmed reduced microbiome diversity in HS, as well as abnormally elevated levels of bacterial strains in skin samples of HS patients.
Notably, Ruminococcus gnavus was over-abundant in the fecal microbiome of HS patients, a finding similarly reported in Crohn’s disease.
Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is a relatively common comorbidity of HS, affecting about 1-3% of patients. It is possible that common microbiota alterations in HS and IBD could serve as a link between these comorbid conditions.
A lack of microbial diversity in both the skin and gut have been found to play a critical role in the pathology of other dermatological indications, particularly those having a more systemic pattern of disease manifestation such as Psoriasis (PsO), a disease that is also frequently associated with IBD.
There is currently one microbiome-targeting pipeline candidate for PsO, Evelo Biosciences’ EDP-1815, which targets skin symptoms via the modulation of gut microbiota.
Evelo recently announced positive Phase IIb (NCT04603027) data for the drug in PsO and is about to initiate Phase IIa studies of the same drug for the treatment of atopic dermatitis.
No microbiome-targeting therapies are currently under development for HS, but the data presented at EADV 2021 suggest that this disease may be a good candidate for a microbiome-targeting approach similar to that used in PsO.