Amy Hourigan: Great to talk with you again, Reid. Last time we spoke, you were filing an IND [Investigational New Drug] application for your wart product—a dissolvable patch that releases the active ingredient right into the skin. Can you tell us where that stands?
Dr. Reid Waldman: Right! Our product is currently being tested as a treatment for common warts in a phase II study; we’re actively dosing the initial cohort of 60 subjects, with a plan to dose 150 subjects total in this study.
AH: How long until the product is available?
RW: We are targeting filing the BLA in early 2027. [A biologic licensing application, or BLA, is a request for the FDA to approve a given product—ed.] Then there’s a review period prior to the approval. Our goal is to finish the phase II program in 2024 so we can initiate the phase III program in early 2025 and complete the phase III program in 2026.
AH: How will the product change the way we treat warts?
RW: You may remember that no FDA-approved prescription treatment exists for common warts, even though warts are one of the most common reasons people seek treatment for skin conditions in this country. The tools we dermatologists have, like liquid nitrogen, are painful and not particularly effective, while over-the-counter treatments require daily applications for months at a time, which is too burdensome for most people. We are aiming to become the first at-home prescription treatment for common warts and believe that a patient-friendly treatment for warts would address a major therapeutic challenge faced by dermatologists and their patients.
AH: Sounds great! Do you have any other products in development?
RW: We do. We founded the company with the idea that there are thousands of skin conditions, many of which we see on almost a daily basis, that have seen very limited innovation when it comes to treatment. My team and I set out to identify therapeutics that would address real challenges in dermatology—persistent conditions with little to no treatment options available.
AH: Can you talk about the other assets in your pipeline?
RH: Sure. There are five. Besides the wart product, we’ve got a candidate to treat pattern hair loss in men and women; one for alopecia areata, which is an autoimmune form of hair loss; another for atopic dermatitis, or eczema, and one for molluscum contagiosum, which is a viral skin infection that mainly affects toddlers.
AH: I’ve read about that one. The pictures are distressing.
RW: Right. People who have had kids with the infection hated going through it. There are 6 million kids who get it in the U.S. alone each year, and those cases result in about a million office visits, yet there are no antivirals approved for treatment.
AH: How is molluscum contagiosum treated today?
RW: The current approved therapeutic is blister beetle juice—medicine derived from the blister beetle. It’s existed for a long, long time, and the goal is to cause little blisters on the skin that destroy the molluscum. As you might imagine, putting lots of blisters on a toddler scares the parents and the toddler. It’s not a great therapeutic paradigm. By contrast, we’re creating a topical antiviral gel—the first specific antiviral for molluscum. We’re excited for that to enter clinical trials in early 2024.
AH: You’re a board-certified dermatologist, and I heard that you’re in the top 5 percent of the most cited physicians in America, but your background is in clinical research, correct?
RW: Yes. Prior to founding Veradermics, I was a clinical trial investigator on multiple phase II and phase III studies. Some of the products that were in development back then are now major approved products. I have more than 100 publications, and I authored a textbook, Dermatology for the Primary Care Provider, that I’m really proud of. It’s a reference for busy physicians that covers the diagnosis and management of common dermatologic conditions.