Aldena Therapeutics Accelerates its Novel and Disruptive Approach to Immuno-Dermatology

  • Founded by Medicxi with Georgia Tech and UMass scientists, supported by US $30M investment from Medicxi
  • Developing advanced, long-lasting therapies for dermatological diseases through radical new transepidermal delivery of proprietary siRNAs
  • Led by dermatology veteran Thibaud Portal as CEO with a Scientific Advisory Board chaired by Nobel Prize Laureate, Craig Mello

Boston, Massachusetts, March 16th, 2023 – Aldena Therapeutics Inc. (Aldena) a private biotech company pioneering siRNA-based therapies for dermatological indications, announces an update on its innovative, immuno-dermatology pipeline, appointment of world leading Scientific Advisory Board (SAB) and US$ 30 million financing by Medicxi.

Under the leadership of CEO, dermatology industry veteran Thibaud Portal, Aldena’s goal is to develop advanced, long-lasting treatments for dermatological diseases based on its disruptive approach to immuno-dermatology. The company’s technology has the potential to capture the full value of systemically validated Mode of Actions (MOA) through radical new transepidermal delivery of proprietary siRNAs.

Aldena was co-founded by Professor John Harris (MD, PhD, Professor and Chair of Dermatology at UMass Chan Medical School), Professor Mark Prausnitz (PhD, Regents’ Professor at Georgia Institute of Technology) and Dr Andrew Tadros (MD, PhD) and backed by Medicxi.

Craig Mello, PhD, the Physiology and Medicine Nobel Prize Laureate will Chair the SAB, alongside specialists in the field of dermatology; Lars French, MD, PhD, Jonathan Silverberg, MD, PhD, MPH and Anastasia Khvorova, PhD, who will join founding advisors John Harris, MD, PhD and Mark Prausnitz, PhD on the SAB as core experts to serve as its strategic resource to establish Aldena’s efforts to expand its innovative, pipeline of Dermatology products.

Aldena has a pipeline of six different compounds, three of which will be ready for IND filing next year. The innovative pipeline of dermatological siRNA therapies are targeting the unmet medical need in conditions like Atopic Dermatitis, Vitiligo, Alopecia Areata, Psoriasis and other inflammatory diseases.

Thibaud Portal, Chief Executive Officer of Aldena Therapeutics, said: I am delighted to reveal Aldena Therapeutics as we accelerate our mission to develop an innovative pipeline of dermatological siRNA therapies that have the potential to transform the treatment of multiple dermatological diseases. I am honored to have such world leaders in the scientific and medical fields on our scientific advisory board which is significant validation of our approach. Their deep and diverse expertise across the fields of siRNA research and development, of advanced drug delivery solutions and of development of groundbreaking dermatologic products, will be immensely valuable as we continue to advance our pipeline.”

 Craig Mello, Chair of Aldena Therapeutics Scientific Advisory Board, commented: “The most influential way to make a lasting impact in the life science community is to create pioneering, effective products that address the unmet medical need of patients. I am delighted to chair this multidisciplinary and highly experienced Scientific Advisory Board, where engineers, scientists, and medical professionals come together to develop innovative, dermatological products for the benefit of millions of patients.”

Francesco De Rubertis, co-founder and Partner at Medicxi, member of the Board of Directors of Aldena, added: “We are delighted to collaborate with leading scientists from Georgia Tech and UMass to create Aldena Therapeutics, a company based on its truly disruptive approach to immuno-dermatology. Aldena brings together a phenomenal team of leaders with expert knowledge to develop transformative and long-lasting therapies for many dermatology diseases.”

Scientific Advisory Board

Prof. Craig C. Mello: is an Investigator at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, the Blais University Chair in Molecular Medicine, and co-director of the RNA Therapeutics Institute at the University of Massachusetts Chan Medical School (UMCMS). His research is aimed at deciphering the molecular mechanisms underlying small-RNA-silencing in C Elegans to inform the understanding of human health and disease.  Prof. Mello was a co-recipient, with Andrew Z. Fire, of the Nobel Prize for Physiology and Medicine in 2006 for discovering RNA interference (RNAi), a mechanism that regulates gene activity. In addition, Prof. Mello received the 2003 Wiley Prize, the 2003 National Academy of Sciences Award in Molecular Biology, the 2004 Warren Triennial Prize, the 2005 Canada Gairdner International Award, the 2005 Massry Prize and was also awarded the title of Howard Hughes Medical Investigator for his significant contributions to science.

Dr. Med. Lars E French: is a professor and chairman of the Department of Dermatology at the Munich University of Ludwig Maximilian (LMU) in Germany. Professor French is a clinician and a scientist engaged in competitive research and development in the field of inflammatory skin disease and tumour immunology. In 2012, Professor French was awarded the Otto Naegeli Prize for the promotion of medical research, one of Switzerland’s most prestigious scientific awards.

Dr. Jonathan Silverberg: is an Associate Professor of Dermatology at The George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences in Washington, DC. He is the Director of Clinical Research and Contact Dermatitis. Dr. Silverberg’s area of clinical subspecialty is inflammatory skin diseases, and research interests include drug development, clinical trial design, biomarkers, dermato-epidemiology, health services research, patient-reported outcomes, comorbidities and burden of itch and inflammatory skin disease and evidence-based dermatology. He has been recognized with several honours, including the Young Leadership Award from the American Dermatological Association in 2017, Teacher of the Year Award in the department of dermatology in 2015, Outstanding Teacher’s Award from the Feinberg School of Medicine in 2016, 2017 and 2018, and the inaugural Rajka Award from the International Society for Atopic Dermatitis in 2014.

Dr. Anastasia Khvorova: has more than 20 years of experience developing oligonucleotide technology and therapeutics. She is a professor in the RNA Therapeutics Institute and Program of Molecular Medicine at the University of Massachusetts Chan Medical School (UMCMS), where her lab develops novel approaches and solutions to understanding natural and therapeutic RNA trafficking and delivery.  Dr. Khvorova founded the UMass Nucleic Acid Chemistry Core after several years in industry, during which she served as Chief Scientific Officer (CSO) at leading biotech companies and co-founded several start-ups.

Scientists and academic collaborators of Aldena will be presenting at the upcoming Dermatology Innovation Forum in New Orleans on March 16th 2023, and at the first International Societies for Investigative Dermatology Meeting in Tokyo, 1-13 May 2023.

– ENDS –


For further information:

 Optimum Strategic Communications

Mary Clark, Hana Malik, Zoe Bolt

Tel: +44 (0) 203 882 9621


 Aldena Therapeutics

Thibaud Portal, CEO


About Aldena

Aldena Therapeutics is a Boston, Lausanne and London-based biotechnology company focusing on siRNA-based treatments, enabled by the STAR-particle microneedles as a new skin delivery system for patients suffering from dermatological diseases. The Company was co-founded by Prof. John Harris (MD, PhD, Professor and Chair of Dermatology at UMass Chan Medical School), Prof. Mark Prausnitz (PhD, Regents’ Professor at Georgia Institute of Technology) and Dr Andrew Tadros (MD, PhD) and is backed by international investment firm, Medicxi. Aldena Therapeutics has been led since its inception by dermatology specialist, CEO, Thibaud Portal, PhD, who previously led the Prescription Medicines business and strategy of Galderma SA after several senior R&D roles and co-founded several dermatology focused start-up companies. Aldena is pursuing multiple innovative programs and is currently initiating the IND-enabling GLP nonclinical program for its lead projects.

 About Medicxi

Medicxi is a healthcare-focused investment firm with the mission to create and invest in companies across the full drug development continuum. Leveraging deep expertise in drug development and company creation spanning over two decades, Medicxi invests in early and late-stage therapeutics with a product vision that can fulfill a clear unmet medical need. For more information, please visit: .