Dermala, a company founded by Rady School of Management alumnae Lada Rasochova (MBA ’08) recently won the “Best Pitch” and “Most Fundable Company” categories at the Los Angeles VC & Angel Roundtable organized by FundingPost. Over 30 companies took part in the competition and winning both categories is unprecedented for a company in the competition.
“Research on the human microbiome is transforming our understanding of various diseases including Crohn’s disease, inflammatory bowel disease, diabetes, and even obesity, autism and cancer,” Rasochova said. “I am passionate about the potential that the human microbiome offers. It was great to see that the judges shared my vision and believed that Dermala can deliver results.”
Rasochova, executive director of the California Institute for Innovation and Development at the Rady School, is CEO of Dermala. Dermala is using the human microbiome to identify molecules and microbial formulations that can be used for the treatment and prevention of chronic skin diseases.
“Microbes that live on and in our bodies may ultimately prove to be the richest source of new drugs,” Rasochova said. “Dermala has a significant pipeline of product candidates. Our first candidate is for acne, which is the most common skin disorder that affects about 50 million people in the US. We’ve isolated a molecule from the skin microbiome that shows efficacy against acne but without the side effects of current therapies. Currently, we are optimizing the formulation and moving towards human trials.”
Dermala has licensed the underlying technology from the Regents of the University of California. Dermala is located at JLABS, the no-strings attached incubator of Johnson & Johnson Innovation in San Diego.
Melinda Battenberg is the Public Relations Representative at the Rady School of Management. In her free time Battenberg enjoys cooking, craft beer and spending time with her family.