Denmark's Leo Pharma says it is now actively searching for new global or local partners for its dermatology-focused pipeline.

The US Food and Drug Administration gave the green light to Picato (ingenol mebutate), the Ballerup-headquartered firm's treatment for actinic keratoses on the face, scalp, trunk and extremities. Kristian Lykke Fick, head of corporate business development, notes that "last year, we changed our R&D focus to concentrate solely on dermatology" and now "we’re searching for partners and opportunities to strengthen that position”.

In January, a deal was signed with the US biotech Virobay to develop an investigational oral treatment for psoriasis. Leo made an upfront payment of $7 million for the preclinical compound and may fork out milestones totalling up to $300 million, plus tiered royalties.

How, it wants more deals and Mr Fick says that "basically, any opportunity within prescription dermatology with a sales potential above 75 million euros has our interest". He added that "we seek early- and late-stage compounds as well as new delivery systems" and "besides our current therapeutic focus, we’ll be looking for drug candidates targeted at, for example, acne, rosacea, vitiligo, skin cancer and orphan skin diseases".

Mr Fick concluded by noting that "we typically consider 500 opportunities annually, of which we find 100 interesting enough for further dialogue. In the end, we move about 10 of them to due diligence". Leo hopes to sign "another two to three significant deals this year".