Do you know that a child’s skin grafts do not grow as he grows? That’s why so many burn patients have to have repeated transplants. An Israeli health care start-up company called MediWound has a promising new treatment that may prevent the need for skin grafts altogether. They successfully finished Phase III of their clinical trials of Debrase gel dressing for the treatment of burn wounds.
When a person suffers a severe burn, doctors need to surgically remove the entire skin layer of the whole burned area, while the patient is under full anesthesia. Doctors remove both healthy and unhealthy skin, because they have no way of knowing how deep the burn is, or whether some parts of the skin are still healthy. If 10 percent of the body surface is burned, the patient loses that 10 percent, plus another 10 percent of the skin, which is taken from other areas on the body for grafting onto the burned area. Burns over large areas of the body are life threatening. Burn patients suffer severe pain and loss of blood from the surgery.
Debrase’s latest trial included 175 patients and demonstrated statistically significant results in its two target areas:
- Reducing the need for surgical treatment for the removal of burned tissue
- Reducing in the number of skin transplants.
MediWound is now preparing an application to European Medicines Agency (EMEA) for approval to market their product. Debridase comes in the form of a lotion and works by dissolving damaged tissue. It replaces surgery, saving as much as 50 percent of the loss of healthy skin. It leaves the healthy tissue undamaged which helps the body regenerate new tissue itself, thus reducing the need for skin grafts. This saves expensive hospitalization, operating room, anesthesia, and surgical labor costs. About 70 percent of burn areas healed completely without any skin grafts at all.