What is Afamelanotide?

Note: this article describes afamelanotide which is also known by the name melanotan I. afamelanotide should not be confused with melanotan II.

Afamelanotide ( (INN) (brand name Scenesse), also known as melanotan I (or melanotan-1), originally developed at the University of Arizona and now by Clinuvel Pharmaceuticals, is a synthetic peptide and analogue of the naturally occurring melanocortin peptide hormone α-melanocyte stimulating hormone (α-MSH) that has been shown to induce the production of darkening dermal pigmentation through melanogenesis and thereby subsequently reduce sun (UV) damage to UV light-exposed skin in preliminary research and human clinical trials. Its amino acid sequence is Ac-Ser-Tyr-Ser-Nle-Glu-His-D-Phe-Arg-Trp-Gly-Lys-Pro-Val-NH2, and it is additionally known as [Nle4,D-Phe7]-α-MSH, which is sometimes abbreviated as NDP-MSH or NDP-α-MSH (especially in the scientific literature).

Afamelanotide is the International Nonproprietary Name for the molecule [Nle4,D-Phe7]α-MSH

Unlicensed and untested powders sold as "melanotan" are found on the Internet Clinuvel Pharmaceuticals, the developer of afamelanotide, and medical researchers have warned consumers that counterfeit products sold using the names "melanotan I and II", could "pose a hazard to public health". Clinuvel has stated publicly that products sold online as "melanotan" are not afamelanotide.

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