Sanofi tackles $3B acne market with UC San Diego pact

Acne may not rank up there with, say, cancer in the area of unmet medical needs. But with a $3 billion market at stake, it's serious enough to grab the attention of Sanofi Pasteur, which today announced a collaboration deal with investigators at the UC San Diego School of Medicine on a new vaccine that promises to control the skin eruptions associated with extreme teen angst.

"This investigational vaccine and treatment may lead to a better solution for the many who suffer from this skin disease," said Sanofi R&D chief Elias Zerhouni. None of the financial terms were disclosed, but Sanofi noted that the deal includes a two-year research collaboration with Dr. Chun-Ming Huang and his associates for further R&D work.

Acne may not make many headlines in the drug development world, but the market covers an estimated 50 million people. Sanofi notes in its release that the current treatment of mild acne revolves around bactericidal agents like benzoyl peroxide as well as oral or topical antibiotics. Long-term use of antibiotics, Sanofi adds, also leads to resistant strains.

- here's the Sanofi release