Luma begins launch of ultraviolet light-based plaque psoriasis treatment

Illuvinate has been shown to reduce local inflammation, rehydrate the skin and restore normal skin cells. (Luma)

Luma Therapeutics has launched its light-based treatment for plaque psoriasis symptoms at home, available by prescription through a dermatologist or Luma’s telehealth provider, HealthLens.

The smartphone-controlled device combines narrowband ultraviolet light with a hydrogel that helps keep moisture in the skin during use. The UVB light reduces psoriasis symptoms by preventing overactive immune cells from releasing growth factors into the skin.

The company is initially launching the FDA-cleared device in California, with plans for nationwide distribution in 2019, according to Luma founder and CEO Evan Anderson.

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The treatment is based on the Goeckerman UVB light regimen, invented in 1925. According to Luma, the treatment has only been available at a handful of specialized centers and often requires multiple daylong clinic visits over a period of weeks. Other treatments such as topical steroids may be ineffective at times or may only be offered in a clinical setting.

“Most available treatments require ongoing compliance in order to achieve optimal results, and many patients are hesitant to consistently use medications, which may have long-term side effects,” said Luma Chief Medical Officer Jeffrey Sugarman, M.D., Ph.D., in a release. “As a result, patients become discouraged and stop seeking treatment from a dermatologist.”

Illuvinate has been shown to reduce local inflammation, rehydrate the skin and restore normal skin cells. With the app-based dosing algorithm, the therapy is applied for minutes each day over a six-week period.