Pharmacological profiling measures the efficacy of dermatological drugs


  • CHDR conducts clinical trials in dermatology in order to study targeted drug delivery and treatment of a wide range of dermatological conditions, including psoriasis, eczema, and premalignant lesions.
  • Most of our dermatology trials use Trial@home, our unique approach to outpatient research.
  • The study compound can be applied topically transdermally, intradermally, or subcutaneously, and CHDR can study both local pharmacokinetics and the compound’s effects on the skin.
  • Our customised, user-friendly apps for smartphones and tablets ensure patient compliance and help researchers monitor the lesion and the patient’s daily activities.


In the field of dermatology, CHDR has developed a unique approach to early-stage drug development by combining outpatient trials with innovative new measuring techniques. Although patients come to our facility for selection and follow-up visits, the trial itself takes place off-site, with the patients at home, going about their daily activities.
Our dermatology studies provide results that are more than skin deep. Because the skin is the largest and most easily accessible organ, our dermatology research also facilitates drug development in other areas, including immunology and endocrinology. In addition, CHDR is studying ways to improve wound healing. Thus, CHDR is helping meet the needs of patients everywhere.

CHDR conducts clinical phase I/IIa trials for pharmaceuticals, medical devices, cosmetics, food supplements and consumer products entailing following types of studies:

- Psoriasis Plaque Test
- Vasoconstriction test / blanching
- UV Erythema Model
- Histamine challenge
- Barrier function assessment including lipid profiling
- Systemic absorption and pharmacokinetics
- Dermal tolerability and sensitization potential of transdermals
- Circulating and ex vivo stimulated biomarkers

Objectively measure skin lesions using DermaToolbox

In addition to measuring the patient’s subjective experience (for example, pain, discomfort, and ease of application), objective measurements also play a key role in assessing the effects of a new dermatological treatment. Therefore, we combined several robust techniques commonly used for dermatology research to create DermaToolbox, a comprehensive set of objective measurements and instruments used to systematically quantify subjective symptoms. In addition to conventional clinical photography, DermaToolbox uses high-definition 3D photography to measure the lesion’s dimensions, properties, and surface features. This powerful method − which was originally developed for use in the cosmetics industry − has quickly become an extremely valuable tool for studying dermatological conditions. DermaToolbox also includes a wide variety of methods for objectively measuring the compound’s effects on the skin, including transepidermal water loss, lipid profiling, colorimetry, and laser Doppler imaging. In addition, our Biomarker group can develop biomarkers to address specific research questions.


Pharmacological challenges in skin research

The DermaToolbox in action

Click here for a short demonstration of the DermaToolbox:

Practical answers to important research questions

  • Does our compound treat the targeted skin condition?

    Early in drug development, CHDR can collect a wealth of data regarding the compound’s intended and/or unintended effects, even in healthy subjects. This data-intensive approach facilitates rational decision-making regarding the course of drug development. In dermatology 3D photography, total body mapping of skin lesions, objective lesion quantification and other innovative measurements can serve as robust predictors of clinical efficacy.

  • How well is the compound absorbed, and how is it eliminated?

    Pharmacokinetics is one of CHDR’s main areas of expertise, and CHDR researchers study systemic absorption in the initial clinical phases of drug development. This proactive approach allows researchers to minimise the risk of adverse systemic effects in subsequent trials, which is particularly important when patients apply the compound at home.

  • Does our compound have anti-inflammatory properties?

    In recent years, CHDR has selected and validated a comprehensive panel of biomarkers for measuring inflammation ex vivo. In addition, we have developed several pharmacological and mechanical challenge models to study inflammation. Using these approaches, we can measure the effects of both systemic and topical drugs against allergy and/or inflammation in healthy volunteers.

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