‘Transformative’: New hope for sweat-stricken Aussies
Australians living in fear of their sweat patches could soon find relief through a new gel aimed at quelling excessive perspiration.
The gel, named Sofpironium bromide, produced striking results for hundreds of American patients dealing with hyperhidrosis – the medical term for excessive sweating – across a trial run spanning a year.
Patients applied the gel to their underarms daily, with a notable 85 per cent later reporting positive results.
The gel acts directly on the receptors causing sweat by effectively shutting them down – but only for a day in order to avoid biological impact.
US-based and ASX-listed pharmaceutical company Botanix acquired the gel from fellow biotech business Brickell after being buoyed by results in clinical trials.
Botanix executive director Matt Callahan said issues like damp patches on shirts were often perceived as amusing but had serious implications for those falling victim to excessive sweat, with regular antiperspirants proving ineffective for many.
Introducing a gel as a serious form of treatment without side effects was “massively important”, he said.
“People in your office with permanent rings under their shirts, people who have clammy hands, people who have sweaty feet – a lot of people, about 15 million in the US alone – have this condition,” Mr Callahan said.
“To put that in context, in the US there’s about 17 or 18 million people that get eczema.
“And probably the biggest dermatology indication is acne. There’s about 50 million people that get acne, so (excessive sweating) is a pretty serious problem.
“Self-esteem, sexual activity, if you’re constantly sweaty, that’s a real problem. Intimacy is a real problem.
“At the moment, to treat it, you’ve got a couple of options. You’ve got antiperspirants – covers up the smell but does nothing to actually have an effect on the excessive sweating – and at the other extreme, you’ve got surgery, where they’ll actually go in and cut the nerve to stop the signals getting to the sweat gland to stop you sweating excessively.
“In between, there's been a lot of drugs that have been around for decades that don’t work very well and have all sorts of nasty side effects.”
Sofpironoium bromide proved life-changing for patients involved in the trial, some of whom were even financially burdened because they were having to discard sweat-drenched shirts, Mr Callahan said.
“Those patients had a tremendous response which actually got better across a year. No safety issues and better efficacy the more they took it,” he said.
“For some of these folks, it’s transformative. They had to put sponges under their arms, they had to carry a change of clothing, they didn‘t wear certain types of clothes or certain colours because their hyperhidrosis is really evident.
“It gives them a new lease on life, it solves a financial problem because you wreck your clothes all the time.”
The gel has already been approved in Japan and is about to be examined by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the US.
Botanix says it could be approved by the FDA in 2023 and available to Australian patients soon after.
Originally published as ‘Transformative’: New hope for sweat-stricken Aussies
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