Novel Wound Dressing for Chronic Ulcers

Period of Performance: 09/18/2002 - 09/17/2003


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Aegis Biosciences, LLC
Spokane, WA 99202
Principal Investigator


DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): Conservative estimates suggest that over 2 million people annually in the U. S. alone suffer from ulcers, and the base of those so afflicted is likely to increase in view of an aging population. Mean hospital charges of patients with a primary diagnosis for pressure ulcers were about $22,000 in 1992, a significant cost that will become increasingly difficult to bear with managed care financial pressures. With costs to treat these chronic wounds reaching into the billions of dollars annually and rising, what is needed is a treatment that makes use of the fundamental understanding of (1) the underlying biology and biochemistry of pressure ulcers and their mitigation, and applying this knowledge to (2) biomaterials science and controlled release technology, thus allowing the treatment of these wounds in a rational scientific manner. Furthermore, the treatment should provide a cost-conscious alternative to today's (expensive) therapies that in addition, relieves suffering for these "hard-to-heal'' patients and provides better overall patient outcomes. The development of a non-adherent hydrogel dressing that will remove fluid from the wound and also add a low dose antibiotic with the capability of removing noxious wound factors that impede healing is described. Toward that end, we have identified a novel polymer with unique processing characteristics that offers a low-cost alternative treatment to existing costly products rooted in biotechnology. Thus, the major specific aim set forth is to develop cost-effective hydrogel dressing that provides a moisthon-adherent wound healing environment, and delivers a Matrix MetalloProteinase (MMP) inhibitor, specifically a MMP-8 inhibitor, to the ulcer wound bed with the intent of promoting more rapid healing.