Dermata Therapeutics, LLC and Villani, Inc. Announce a Global License Agreement for a Natural Sponge Product for Skin Diseases

SAN DIEGO, April 13, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Dermata Therapeutics, LLC and Villani, Inc., today announced they have entered into an exclusive global license agreement for Villani's natural sponge product, to be developed by Dermata as a potential treatment for a variety of skin diseases.  Dermata will have the exclusive worldwide rights to develop and commercialize Villani's patented sponge-based product, with the first target being the treatment of moderate to severe acne vulgaris.  Under the terms of the license agreement, Villani will receive milestone and royalty payments.   

"We are pleased to announce this collaboration with Villani and believe it further enhances Dermata's mission to make major advancements in the treatment of serious skin diseases," states Gerald Proehl, President and CEO of Dermata.  "After many years of research, Dr. Villani has developed a product to harness the therapeutic effects of a natural sponge product that has the potential to address the needs of patients with moderate to severe acne.  While prescription acne products have been available for many years, patients continue to suffer from the emotional and physical effects of living with the disease.  We believe that developing a natural alternative to currently available prescription products will represent a major advancement in the treatment of acne."  

"I am very excited to begin working with the Dermata team to bring this potentially significant breakthrough to patients living with moderate to severe acne because I know firsthand how patients feel living with acne," said Maria Villani, M.D., CEO and founder of Villani, Inc. "This product has been years in the making, filled with hours of research.  I look forward to collaborating with the Dermata team to further advance development of my sponge product, hopefully bringing the first natural prescription drug product to market for moderate to severe acne sufferers."

This sponge product was discovered by Dr. Villani through examining many fresh water sponge species until she located a specific variant with a unique chemical structure.  Based on Dr. Villani's research and testing, to ensure the same unique chemical structure with each harvest, the sponge must be harvested under very strict environmental conditions and processed under a strict protocol.  The result of these strict requirements is a consistent chemical structure that is reproducible year to year, which is critical to developing this first ever sponge-derived product as a prescription. 

About Dermata: Dermata is a development-stage biotechnology company focused on making major advancements in the treatment of serious diseases treated by dermatologists. Dermata has an experienced team who are currently focused on progressing four programs for the treatment of acne rosacea, atopic dermatitis, acne vulgaris and ocular rosacea.  To learn more about Dermata and its pipeline of products, please visit

About Villani: Villani is a research-based dermatology company developing natural sponge-based products for both cosmetic and pharmaceutical use.  Maria Villani has spent over 18 years investigating the effects naturally produced by marine sponges, which led to her research and development of this product.  For more information, please visit


Dermata Contact

Sean Proehl

Public Relations


Villani Contact

Maria Villani

Public Relations



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SOURCE Dermata Therapeutics, LLC