The pharmaceutical industry requires research and development as an investment in the future. Thanks to innovative products and ideas, we make our contribution to the advancement of modern medicine – which, in the final instance, is to people’s benefit.

For more than ten years, we have been researching and improving treatment possibilities for non-melanoma skin cancer with the help of photodynamic therapy (PDT). This therapy form enables the targeted long-term removal of skin cells that have undergone cancerous changes. The medication applied in this case is absorbed by the modified cells and converted into a substance that can be activated by light. The actual (photodynamic) reaction is subsequently triggered with an appropriate light source. This interrupts the energy metabolism in the diseased tissue in a targeted manner, and the undesired cells die on a controlled basis and without scarring.

Specialist dermo-oncological institutions worldwide recommend this therapy form in their guidelines as highly effective for various types of non-melanoma skin cancer, including actinic keratosis, field cancerization and basal cell carcinoma. Efficacy in the case of acne and wound healing is also under discussion in the literature.

We had to research intensively and on a sustained basis in order to bring a medication for PDT and the related medical product, a special LED light, to approval in Europe and the USA. Through utilizing a patented dosage form, we have managed to stabilize the substance deployed, and improve its delivery through the skin to the target location – the cells that have undergone cancerous change.

Our current research aims to further optimize the PDT treatment, make it accessible to more individuals and tap new application areas.


Research areas

At Biofrontera, we research on a long-term basis and extensively, as only in this manner can a medication's market potential be optimized. We include all aspects of photodynamic therapy for this purpose, ranging from molecular fundamentals through to the pharmaceutical dosage form and clinical application.



In the therapeutic fundamentals and pharmaceutical development area, we research the therapy's fundamental principles, which has enabled us to already find answers to many questions such as:

  • "How does the therapy work? How does it work in a targeted manner on cells that have undergone cancerous change?"
  • "Which mechanisms underlie the therapy's potential side effects and how can they be reduced?"
  • "How can the interplay of substance and light be optimally exploited?"
  • "How does the nanovesicle formulation patented by Biofrontera improve the skin's ability to absorb the substance?"

Here, we have long worked together successfully with many academic and clinical research institutions. We regularly publish our research findings in recognized international specialist journals, and present them at specialist conferences where they are discussed by independent scientists.



In the final analysis, however, the objective of our research is clinical application. The application of the medicine has been tested in terms of its safety and efficacy over the past ten years in various clinical trials (Phases I to III). Further trials relating to new applications are currently underway. Here, we always work together with internationally recognized clinical experts. These are physicians who are themselves pioneers and leading-edge researchers in the photodynamic therapy area. Their knowledge and experience in the clinical application area help us plan our trials as best as possible and to put preclinical research findings at the service of patients. This collaboration, which is characterized by scientific objectivity and cooperation, is also evident above and beyond the trials at conferences of specialist dermatological societies, where photodynamic therapy and our research findings always rank among the exciting topics.  Our clinical trials are also published in prominent international specialist journals. In consequence, they are independently reviewed by experts, and are transparent and available to the public. 

We regard ourselves as experts in photodynamic therapy, as we are the only company worldwide to set itself the objective of completely exploiting the potentials of PDT and assisting this therapy form to achieve its global breakthrough. We are convinced that considerable potential can still be leveraged here, and our researchers are working on this together with our regulatory experts and sales staff.