Acne: what is clascoterone, this encouraging new treatment?

Published on August 03, 2022 at 12:49 p.m.

Acne: what is clascoterone, this encouraging new treatment?

Acne: what is clascoterone, this encouraging new treatment? – © iStock – PeopleImages

Newly arrived on the American and Chinese markets, what promises clascoterone, this new drug to treat acne?

As a skin disease, specifically an inflammatory disease of the pilosebaceous follicle, theacne affects 80% of adolescents and young adults between 12 and 20 years old. Adult acne, also called hormonal acne, meanwhile, targets approximately 25% of women and is becoming more and more frequent*. Despite everything, and for decades – almost 40 years – therapeutic innovations are rare (although some research has demonstrated the effects of food on the skin). Until the recent arrival of clascoterone, a new local treatment that would treat acne. If this drug developed by the Swiss pharmaceutical company, Cosmo Pharma, is slow to arrive in Europe, it is already distributed on the American market and more recently in China, indicates AFP. But what are its particularities? How does it work? Zoom.

Clascoterone, a promising anti-acne cream?

“What is really promising with clascoterone is that it acts by a completely new mechanism on the hormonal causes of acne,” explains John Barbieri, American dermatologist, to AFP. In fact, until now, local treatments were divided into two categories: those that eliminate the bacteria that cause acne using antibiotics, and those that limit the accumulation of dead cells. Clascoterone, a cream to be applied locally to the areas concerned, therefore, helps to regulate theexcess sebum by making skin cells less receptive to hormones. If other treatments already on the market also act on the hormonal level, they are mainly oral devices such as contraceptive pills, which are sometimes controversial and directed mainly towards women. A major step forward then? If a study, published in 2020 in the medical journal Jama Dermatology, announced a product without side effects, Emilie Sbidian, French dermatologist, for her part, remains cautious. The study “does not compare (the cream) with existing treatments, so we don’t really know how to place all that”. However, she adds that this drug can be “very interesting” and present new hope for patients who cannot tolerate current treatments. But before that, a question arises (and not least): when will the European Medicines Authority (EMA) start examining the drug?

*Figures communicated by Health Insurance in December 2021. More information on

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