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Novan Wins ‘Buzz of BIO’ Spotlight

Novan's macromolecular system for delivering nitric oxide to treat skin conditions.

Durham-based Novan Therapeutics has become a “Buzz of BIO” for its promising technology for skin healing.

Novan is one of only four companies whose executives have been invited to give 15-minute presentations at the 2014 BIO International Convention in San Diego next month. The annual convention draws as many as 15,000 attendees.

Novan President Nathan Stasko, Ph.D. Photos courtesy of Novan Therapeutics.

Novan’s president, Nathan Stasko, Ph.D., will present an overview of the the company’s successful Phase 2 clinical study for the treatment of acne vulgaris and its progress in developing topical gels, creams and ointments to treat a variety of skin conditions.

The company is one of only four “Buzz of BIO” winners in the annual competition recognizing the most innovative companies in the biotech sector. Novan was one of two winners in the “Pipelines of Promise” category.

Novan is a privately held spinout from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. The company began pharmaceutical drug development in 2010 to create products that tap the antibacterial properties of nitric oxide by storing the compound on engineered macromolecules that can deliver it when and where it’s needed.

“Antibiotic resistance continues to increase at an alarming rate," said Stasko. "As recent as last week, the World Health Organization reported that antibiotic resistance is a global threat with devastating implications. The inability of bacteria to develop resistance to nitric oxide distinguishes our technology from classical antibiotics. Acne is just the first battleground in our war against superbugs.”

Novan's technology was discovered by UNC chemistry professor Mark Schoenfisch, Ph.D., and developed by Stasko.

The company announced its positive Phase 2 clinical test results for its topical SB204 acne drug candidate in late March.


Acne is not considered an infectious disease by the Dermatologic community. The quote above is very misleading

Thank you for reading our news stories and for your comment. I hope in the future you'll be comfortable sharing your identity along with your insights, but we value your feedback. Upon reflection, I simply can't agree that the quote said or implied that acne is an infectious disease. Rather, I read Dr. Stasko's statement to mean that Novan's process for nitric oxide delivery is proving effective at killing the bacteria associated with acne, without requiring the use of increasingly resistance-prone antibiotics. And he sees it as a platform technology that has potential applications across a wide spectrum of bacteria, including those that cause more dangerous infections. Acne may be the proverbial low-hanging fruit that can win quicker regulatory approval and generate income for Novan sooner than some of the more pernicious bacterial targets. He sees it as the tip of the iceberg. Or, more specifically, "just the first battleground in our war against superbugs."

The company was created in 2010 and it has already identified a functional topical vehicle for the nitric oxide and completed a Phase II trial, that is quite impressive. Any ideas what is their next step? Phase IIb or are they going for the home run and directly into Phase III? Do they have a timeline?

John, Thank you for your interest in Novan Therapeutics. Data from the SB204 story enables us to move forward with late stage clinical development for a fast-acting, first-in-class new drug for acne. Our goal is to continue to build value into the platform and execute a financing strategy to rapidly advance SB204 towards commercialization. You can monitor our progress at

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