Revolutionary wound-healing treatment poised for entry into Europe
A wound-healing invention developed at the Queensland University of Technology (QUT) is awaiting regulatory approval for entry into the European market.
Professor Zee Upton from QUT's Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation is the technical founder and consulting Chief Scientific Officer for Tissue Therapies Limited - the biotechnology company developing VitroGro® ECM.
"VitroGro® ECM is a liquid that is applied using a needle-less syringe and is dribbled over a wound. The protein in the liquid is extremely sticky and so very quickly adheres to the wound bed, offering a revolutionary new treatment," she said.
"The invention could prove to be a massive boost for sufferers of chronic wounds - many of them diabetic - who often have limbs amputated as a result of wounds that won't heal."
Professor Upton said the treatment had achieved remarkable results in an international human trial led by the world-renowned Cardiff University Wound Healing Clinic in conjunction with the QUT Wound Clinic in Brisbane.
"It evaluated VitroGro® ECM in the treatment of venous leg ulcer patients who had not responded to compression therapy, which is the current standard of care," she said.
"The multi-centre study of VitroGro® ECM found 82 per cent of the patients taking part in the trial were partially or completely healed in 12 weeks," Professor Upton.
"The average treatment time that patients' venous ulcers had not responded to expert care before VitroGro® ECM treatment was 36 months.
Tissue Therapies CEO Dr Steven Mercer said the new formulation would be extremely cost effective to the consumer.
"There's nothing else like VitroGro® ECM in the market in terms of convenience, consistent healing results or cost effectiveness," he said.
"For conditions like venous ulcers where the biology of healing is aberrant, VitroGro® provides critical adhesion for cells by forming a scaffold they can attach to and migrate upon. It creates a favourable environment for healing and this is something that has been missing from conventional wound care."
Earlier Australian and Canadian human trials also showed VitroGro® restarts or accelerates healing of diabetic and venous ulcers that don't respond to expert care, reducing the ulcer size as well as improving wound characteristics and reducing pain.
Chronic wounds affect hundreds of thousands of Australians, particularly older Australians and people in Indigenous communities. For many patients living with chronic non-healing wounds, amputation of an affected limb is the only option.
VitroGro® ECM was recently showcased in a breakout session at the world's largest biotechnology convention, BIO 2012, held in Boston. Trials of the treatment are also expected to commence in the United States late this year.
Media contact: Rose Trapnell, QUT media officer, 07 3138 2361 or 0407 585 901 firstname.lastname@example.org