Multidisciplinary approach to R&D in vitiligo, a neglected skin disease


Address correspondence and reprint requests to: Yan Valle, MSc, MBA, Chief Executive Officer, VR Foundation, 1 Penn Plaza, #6205, New York, NY 10119, or email:


A global interest in therapies for neglected diseases is rising, but traditional biopharma research and development (R&D) process is prohibitively expensive to justify cost of their development. Vitiligo is a multifactorial orphan disease that affects at minimum 35 million people worldwide, yet no therapeutic solutions exist. The present authors describe a budget-minded pursuit of the new therapy development for vitiligo, which includes a multidiscipline collaboration and effective bridging between academic research, biobanking, and bioinformatics. The present authors anticipate that the present authors' “theoretically induced and empirically guided” discovery process will enable development of more leads, with a much greater probability of success and under tighter budgets compared with those of the biopharma company. Ultimately, the multidisciplinary approach described below facilitates the collaborative development of personalized treatments for different patient subpopulations in vitiligo and other neglected diseases.