Sequential awarded prestigious Innovate UK SMART Grant

Sequential Skin Ltd, a leading skin genomics start-up, has been awarded an Innovate UK SMART Grant to fund a project on advancing current understanding of the skin microbiome in healthy and diseased skin – using their novel testing kits. 

Atopic dermatitis (AD) is a multifactorial chronic and recurrent inflammatory skin disease, affecting 20% of children and 10% of adults. Roughly 29% are moderate to severe cases, with healthcare and socio-economic costs of £723M per year. 

This US $500k (equivalent to £400k) project will be funded over 18 months to further the understanding of genetic and skin microbiome inputs, during disease progression, that may lead to helping to identify and stratify patients in the future. 

“We see a future where patients with recurrent and debilitating skin conditions are diagnosed in a highly precise way, at the point of care, which can then be followed by effective and targeted treatment”, said Oliver Worsley, CEO, and co-founder. 

Highly disruptive to skin health

Sequential will work alongside dermatologists in the NHS to recruit patients and benefit from clinicians experienced in AD. “As a dermatologist, Sequential’s technology will be highly disruptive in changing the way AD patients could be diagnosed and better treated in the future. I’m proud to be involved with the Sequential team in this project,” added Dr Natalya Fox, a Dermatology Registrar at St George’s Hospital.

Sequential has already commercialised its skin microbiome testing kit for the personal care industry. Validated with over 30 personal care, pharmaceutical, or skincare companies to help evaluate how formulations affect the health of the skin—this has led to a vast database of biological data from the skin. Their technology has been further confirmed, having recently been listed as a finalist at the C&T Allē Awards, as the best testing method or tool.

“Being backed by Innovate UK, not only extends our research further into understanding skin conditions like AD – but validates our next generation testing platform and the data we’ve compiled so far”, added Albert Dashi, CSO, and co-founder.

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