Wednesday, October 28, 2009

A new treatment for chronic wounds

Ilana Teitelbaum
Israel 21c

Putting its best foot forward: EnzySurge has developed a new device that helps simplify treatment for chronic wounds.

Israel could become a leader in the $3 billion chronic wound industry with a new device that heals wounds faster and more cheaply than alternatives. Millions of Americans, particularly the elderly and diabetics, are afflicted with chronic wounds, which are complicated to treat and can lead to lengthy hospital stays. With life expectancy and the numbers of those suffering from diabetes and obesity increasing worldwide, the global chronic wound industry currently totals around $3 billion.

Israeli company EnzySurge hopes to change the way chronic wounds are treated, with its DermaStream product line. The device is relatively low-cost, has the appearance of a bandage and is disposable, unlike the unwieldy equipment in use today.

Its small size and simplicity make it convenient for use in outpatient facilities or at home, reducing the need for costly hospital stays. It also helps wounds heal faster, saves time for physicians and nurses, and cuts costs. The technology is currently undergoing regulatory procedures and will reach the market next year.

Based on the company's patented Continuous Streaming Therapy technology (CST), the new DermaStream device meets a variety of important needs: It applies negative pressure to a wound, while at the same time providing a continuous stream of healing solutions to the wound bed. DermaStream also drains the wound of exudates - bacteria and other fluids that are released and can hinder the healing process.

Simplify treatment, reduce costs

"DermaStream provides the combined effect of streaming, negative pressure, and the active ingredient in a solution that is determined according to the wound type and stage, for a comprehensive approach to treatment," Amir Shiner, CEO of EnzySurge, tells ISRAEL21c. "The idea is to simplify the means of treatment while simultaneously providing an effective solution for patients that is low-cost, easy to use, and can be used in homecare."

A supplemental technology developed by EnzySurge is SilverStream solution, which topically infuses the wound with a very low concentration of silver ions. This solution is a powerful enemy of bacteria and can enhance the effects of DermaStream. Like DermaStream, it will be available next year.

Given recent US government attempts to reform national healthcare and reduce standard treatment costs, EnzySurge's products are coming to market at just the right time, says Shiner.

"Most of these chronically ill patients are 65 and older and are covered by Medicare or Medicaid. There's a lot of receptiveness now to alternative treatments that are lower-cost and intended for outpatient settings, to be used by the patients themselves," he says.

Getting rid of dead tissue in the wound

The latest technology in development at EnzySurge is an enzymatic Debridement solution, which in conjunction with the DermaStream device removes necrotic (dead) tissue from the wound.

A clinical trial on the new system performed on 48 venous ulcer patients in Israel demonstrated good results. The debridement solution is expected to begin its regulatory approval process in 2010.

EnzySurge's technology is based on research by Prof. Amihay Freeman of Tel Aviv University's Department of Biotechnology. He founded the company, which is headquartered in central Israel in Rosh Ha'ayin, with an additional office in Richmond, Virginia, in 2001.

The company is collaborating with the Virginia Biotech Commercialization Center (a wholly owned subsidiary of Virginia Life Sciences Investments) on business development, reimbursement, marketing and sales. EnzySurge currently employs 10 people and has raised $8 million from private investors in Israel.

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