Foam – the Israeli way to take the sting out of skin treatments

Foamix can turn any active ingredient into easily applied foamFoam, sweet foam. There isn’t anything quite like it for skin treatments. It gets the job done, without the messy and sticky remains associated with creams, lotions, ointments and gels. Foams …

Foamix can turn any active ingredient into easily applied foamFoam, sweet foam.

There isn’t anything quite like it for skin treatments. It gets the job done, without the messy and sticky remains associated with creams, lotions, ointments and gels.

Foams are also easy to use, easily spread and absorbed, and leave the skin hydrated and nourished. With those choices, it’s no surprise that foam is quickly becoming the choice of topical application for consumers and pharmaceutical companies alike.

While pharmaceutical giants worldwide recognize the value of foams and mousses as a more efficient delivery system, most lack the expertise to create foam for themselves. That’s why Foamix, a small privately held company in Israel, is currently surfing a wave of foam to success.

The company has developed a light emulsion-based foam that can be used as a carrier for a number of drugs and cosmetic ingredients, including water-soluble and oil-soluble agents. Its technology base and business model services both the development of in-house signature products as well as the new and existing lines of dermatology active formulations of its respective partners.

Headquartered in Ness Ziona, the company has 22 patents pending, two of which have recently been granted in the US. Founded in 2003 by CEO Dr. Dov Tamarkin, COO Mr. Meir Eini and Chief Technology Officer Dr. Doron Friedman, Foamix employs 22 people.

Impressively, in its first year of business, the company signed two major international co-development deals and since has generated additional partnership agreements, in the fields of dermatology, women’s health and consumer skin care products.

Foamix provides the foam technology; the partner provides the drug or cosmetic active ingredient. It’s a winning formula that provides a lucrative opportunity with unlimited potential for both Foamix and its partners. In the US alone, the dermatology market exceeds $10 billion.

“Our message to pharma is: you provide the active ingredient, and we’ll provide the complementary foam. Our technology is widely applicable, will make your product that much more enticing to the consumer and medical communities, and will generate revenues far and above the exact same active sold as a cream or an ointment.It’s as simple as that,” Eini told ISRAEL21c.

The Foamix pipeline of products includes a foam for just about every active ingredient and can facilitate both insoluble as well soluble drugs and cosmetics products for both medical and personal care.

“Foamix adheres to a high standard of quality for all of its products. In addition, all of the foams coupled with new drug actives are tested and developed in strict accordance with FDA guidelines,” said Tamarkin.

In line with its business model, Foamix is also developing its own line of products for cosmetic and medical applications. For starters, the company has just completed a clinical trial with its proprietary anti-lice foam, which demonstrated more than 96% efficacy. This is good news for the vast number of children and parents who suffer from common and habitual outbreaks of pediculosis — unwanted lice families that settle in human hair. The potential market of this product exceeds $100 million.

Foamix is also currently engaged in additional clinical studies, including a Phase II clinical trial of a betamethasone foam for the treatment of psoriasis, a destructive dermatological disorder characterized by the scarring and flaking of the skin. Nearly 13 million people suffer from psoriasis worldwide, and seven million in the US alone. Annual outpatient costs for treating it in the US are estimated at $1.6 billion to $3.2 b.

“We have tailored the foam to be most suitable for psoriasis therapy,” explained Friedman. “The foam vehicle is emulsion based; it contains skin protective and refatting agents, which are extremely important for successful treatment of these patients.”

Another foam product is also under development with a leading pharmaceutical company for atopic dermatitis, an inflammatory skin disorder generally associated with children. CEO Tamarkin is confident children will accept the concept of foam well.

“Foam is a much better treatment method for children, who are usually very sensitive to having creams and ointments rubbed into their skin. They are not readily agreeable to treatment mechanisms like these because they find them painful. Now, because Foamix foams dissolve and absorb into the skin immediately upon application, they don’t sting or hurt. And, because Foamix foam is stable, meaning it won’t dissolve until it is directly applied to the skin, parents will have an easier time treating a naturally apprehensive child,” said Tamarkin.

Foamix is also interested in building up its range of cosmeceuticals – cosmetic formulations that have a function. It is currently developing foam products that reduce cellulite and remove wrinkles. Also in production is a foamy specialist skin-whitening product, which the company plans to launch in Asia – where skin-whitening products are in great demand.