Xceleron, a UK contract research organisation specialising in microdosing studies, says it has agreed a broad alliance with Germany's Biofrontera Bioscience to test a number of clinical candidates.

Microdosing - also known as Phase 0 clinical testing - is a relatively new phemomenon in clinical testing, and is designed to make first-in-man studies easier and cheaper to carry out, as well as safer for the volunteers who are exposed to much lower doses of experimental drugs.

The assessment will examine the pharmacokinetics of sub-pharmacological doses of several of Biofrontera's promising developmental drugs, for use in future clinical work.

Under the terms of the deal, Xceleron will complete the project in collaboration with its Dutch clinical partner Pharma Bio-Research, before carrying out analysis of the data using accelerator mass spectrometry, at the company's facility in York.

Reinhold Gahlmann, Biofrontera's managing director, said: "our collaboration with Xceleron, and the use of their highly innovative approach, will save Biofrontera significant time and cost, allowing us to focus resources on our most promising drug candidate going


Biofrontera Biosciences is a subsidiary of dematology specialist Biofrontera, and carries out the firm's preclinical and clinical development activities.

Its lead drug candidate is BF-200 ALA, a nanoemulsion with 5-aminolevulinic acid (ALA), for actinic keratosis and genital warts, which is in Phase IIb/III testing. Following behind is BF-derm1, a histidine decarboxylase inhibitor for chronic urticaria (hives) in Phase II and BF-37 (riluzole) for atopic dermatitis.