Your proposal in few words
PerFormS is an innovative start-up company of the University of Modena and Reggio Emilia that focuses on the research and development of innovative products in the field of health.
PerFormS’ current project involves the development of a new drug for the treatment of psoriasis, a chronic inflammatory skin disease that is highly prevalent globally with more than 125 million cases. Chronic inflammatory diseases, such as psoriasis, are currently without a cure, and the main anti-inflammatory cortisone-based drugs used are characterised by severe side effects, especially when used for a prolonged period, as the condition requires. Our product, on the other hand, uses the endogenous molecule Palmitoylethanolamide (PEA), known for its anti-inflammatory and immunomodulatory activity, but until now not exploited in the pharmaceutical field due to its poor solubility. Using nanotechnology, we have succeeded in transforming PEA into submicrometric particles, making it soluble and effective for the long-term treatment of skin symptoms caused by psoriasis. As an added value, the multi-target mechanism by which PEA acts does not lead to the undesirable effects of common corticosteroid anti-inflammatory drugs.
What is your main purpose and the idea behind it?
Our aim is to develop drugs based on PEA in its new form, for the treatment of chronic and acute inflammatory diseases, currently dermatological inflammation, but in the not too distant future also intestinal and respiratory.
The idea behind PerFormS, and in particular the first product, was born by talking; talking about a molecule with much-vaunted pharmacological properties, not yet unlocked and exploited in the pharmaceutical field due to a technological limitation. But that’s not all, it was also born by talking to patients suffering from a debilitating disease both physically and psychologically: psoriasis. They are clamouring for an alternative, safe product that will bring them relief, and that molecule could be of great help to them. When a pharmaceutical biotechnologist, a professor of pharmaceutical technology and a pharmaceutical chemist talk about all this, PerFormS is born, the start-up with the aim of removing technological barriers and revolutionising conventional anti-inflammatory therapy.
How does the Startup Breeding experience help you in the growth and development of your business
The opportunity to be supported by mentors who are part of the pharma innovation ecosystem on the way to the Atlantis pitching arena has allowed us and will allow us to understand which strategies to adopt and which aspects to focus on in order to be able to optimally communicate our product to different audiences, as well as to identify the right market niche.