Autoimmune diseases

2AP05: Vitiligo



  • Pre-clinical project to develop a therapeutic vaccine against EpCAM+ cancers, including head and neck cancer.
  • Proof-of-concept studies in animals is ongoing.
  • Project partly funded by the EU Eurostars programme.
  • Collaboration with the Danish Technological Institute (DTI) and DNASense.


2A Pharma’s anti-autoimmune vaccine candidate has potential to address a number of diseases. The vaccine is currently being tested in a vitiligo model. We expect preliminary results in the first half of 2022.

Approximately, 1% of the world’s population has vitiligo and this can be 2-3% in some populations. It can show relatively early in life, before age 20 and most cases develop by age 40. The condition is not life-threatening but can be psychologically challenging, affecting one’s sense of identity and those affected may be stigmatized by others.


The skin discoloration of Vitiligo is a genetic malfunction that happens at the cellular level. Its white patches, leaving whole areas of skin without its proper pigmentation can be caused by many factors, including the everyday environment such as sunlight, scrapes, bruises & burns, emotional stress, exposure to harmful chemicals, some medications, autoimmune failures, endocrine diseases, dysbiosis (disruption to the microbiome), and liver disease. These many triggering factors cause an immune response where the body’s disease-fighting T cells attack the skin’s pigment cells (melanocytes).

In some people this condition can spread over time across large parts of the body. 2A Pharma’s candidate stops the false alarm so the melanocytes remain safe from attack, and the depigmented lesions can start filling again with pigmentation, reversing any existing damage.

Despite no cure, the current market for vitiligo drugs is worth over USD $1billion and is projected to reach nearly $2billion by 2026(1), growing nearly 6% per year.


  • Fortune Business Insights: Vitilago Treatment Market Forecast 2019-2026