Vitiligo is the most common depigmenting disorder worldwide, with over 1-2% of population being affected by it. The onset of Vitiligo occurs mostly in people between 10 to 30 years of age. Though Vitiligo is not a terminal illness, the disfigurement caused by the disease has profound effect on the quality of life of the patient, as they have to live with it throughout their life. It is a cause of immense psychological torment, with patients feeling isolated and depressed. This disease is of major concern in India, where it is considered as a social stigma, due to its confusion with leprosy. The problem is equally large in other countries, with the disease affecting both personal and professional lives of patients globally.

Vitiligo is an unmet medical need and there is a desperate need to define reliable treatments for managing this disorder.

Vitiligo: Scientific Facts

  • In Vitiligo, loss of pigment producing cells called melanocytes, occurs in localized regions, resulting in white, patchy appearance of skin. The chronic wave of neighboring melanocyte death follows an unpredictable pattern, resulting in spread of depigmented lesions.
  • Current evidence demonstrates that Vitiligo is an autoimmune disease, wherein body’s own immune system starts to make a mistake and results in the killing of melanocytes in skin.
  • Vitiligo has traditionally been considered a systemic disease and hence current treatment regimens often involve systemic immunosuppressant strategies. These can only manage the disease transiently and are also associated with side effects with long term usage.
  • Recent studies unambiguously establish that this immune deregulation in Vitiligo is restricted to skin, where the immune cells (infiltrating effector T cells) are well-positioned to kill resident melanocytes.
  • Though small depigmented patches with immune-mediated loss of melanocytes from skin epidermis is observed early in disease development, these patches spread in the progressive or acceleration phase.
  • The duration of spread can range from days to months. Later stages of the disease are categorized as stable lesions where the surgical intervention is required for re-pigmentation. Extensive skin remodeling is observed in lesion skin at this stage. Localized mechanisms thus lead to patchy manifestation and fixed recurrence as observed in Vitiligo.

Ahammune, therefore, is focused on development of molecules that function locally at the site of lesion, resolving the disease without side effects.

Key Facts about Vitiligo Market

Vitiligo cure is an unmet medical need and an international requirement. Therefore there is an urgent need to find a solution. This condition has a huge market potential of $2.7 billion. With a dedicated patient base, Vitiligo therapeutics market is growing at a CAGR of 8.8% (Research and Markets- Vitiligo Therapeutics - Pipeline Assessment and Market Forecasts to 2019).

With a dedicated program of Vitiligo therapy and animal models that faithfully replicate human disease, Ahammune is striving to fulfill this lacuna in resolving the disease. The Company’s compounds are specifically designed towards Vitiligo therapy. Our strategy of using topical small molecules improves drug absorption in skin and decreases the chances of systemic side effects. Our program aims to set paradigms in treating dermatological autoimmune diseases involving localized remission strategies.


Ahammune Biosciences is a socially conscious business enterprise with a goal to utilize high quality science, develop new therapies for diseases that are of relevance to the society. We are an interdisciplinary team of dedicated scientists who share a common goal of translating scientific breakthroughs to foster innovative treatments for dermatological disorders.Our current focus is to design the first cure for Vitiligo.

Ahammune’s first pipeline product, AB1001, is designed to treat early stages of disease, Vitiligo. The mechanism of action is to control the new triggers where melanocytes killing is done by effector T cells. The product targets the activation step of T cells, preventing further killing and spread. IND-enabling studies are being undertaken with AB1001 for performing ‘first-in human trials’ in 2020.

Ahammune’s product is inspired from tremendous success of cancer immunotherapy agents which are revolutionizing cancer treatment and are making a huge difference in oncology world. Interestingly, while in Vitiligo our aim is to suppress T cell activation, cancer immunotherapy aims to activate body’s own T cell to target hyperproliferating cancer cells. In fact, it has now been shown in several clinical studies that Vitiligo is a positive prognostic factor for recovery of melanoma patients undergoing immunotherapy. This suggests that the pathway targeted by immunotherapy drugs is indeed a cause for melanocytes death in Vitiligo. This druggable pathway has been carefully targeted by our retro-design approach to provide new and efficacious solutions to patients.

Ahammune’s strategy of locally treating and ablating activated T cell responses provide tremendous advantage over several other existing therapies that involve systemic suppression of immune responses, having a variety of side effects, like those often observed with steroid therapy. The focused topical application with Ahammune’s compounds at an earlier disease stage has a potential to stall and revert Vitiligo patches.