Perth-based Avita Medical (ASX: AVH) has announced that the first patient suffering from a Diabetic Foot Ulcer (DFU) has been enrolled in a clinical trial in the UK aimed at evaluating the feasibility of the medical device ReGenerCell in the safe and effective treatment of this widespread complication of diabetes.
Avita Medical is a regenerative medicine company specialising in the treatment of wounds and skin defects. It said the new research takes Avita into a significant new area, after the recent release of positive study outcomes for ReGenerCell in the treatment Venous Leg Ulcers (VLUs).
DFUs are a common and growing complication of diabetes, and can often lead to amputations.
The company said the first patient had been treated and that the study aimed to enrol up to 24 patients with DFUs, who will each be followed over a 26-week evaluation period.
"The ReGenerCell device enables medical professionals to create an autologous suspension of skin cells, which is then applied to the patient’s wound to trigger healing," said the company. "The treatment will be evaluated as an adjunct to standard care treatments, such as debridement, cleansing, dressings, and offloading. As well as the key outcome measures of incidence of healing and rate of wound closure, the study will also explore patient and physician satisfaction."
“We are keen to evaluate any treatment that has the potential to improve patient care and at the same time reduce cost,” said Mr Tawqeer Rashid, chief investigator and consultant vascular surgeon at Manchester Royal Infirmary. “With this study we will be evaluating the clinical benefits of the ReGenerCell treatment for patients whose quality of life is often severely reduced.”
Avita Medical said it had embarked on the study following many successful patient outcomes, indicating that the regenerative approach could be an effective means of treating DFUs, which are typically long-term open wounds resistant to most standard treatments.
“Clinicians from different parts of the world have found ReGenerCell to be an effective treatment of diabetic foot ulcers in their practices. A clinical study will allow us to formalize our understanding of the treatment effect and will serve in the development of the clinical guidance and evidence needed for commercialisation,” said Andrew Quick, Avita’s senior vice president of clinical development.
“Most healthcare authorities around the world are facing an epidemic of diabetes and one of their most expensive challenges is how to treat foot ulcers which, sadly, once started, typically lead to a slow and lingering decline,” said Avita CEO Adam Kelliher. “If our approach can get these ulcers to heal, then it could offer hope to many diabetics around the world.”
Using a small sample of skin, the ReGenerCell device enables the production of a Regenerative Epithelial Suspension (RES). The autologous suspension contains the multi-phenotype cells and wound-healing factors essential for natural healthy skin regeneration and healing. The procedure performed at the patient’s bedside takes about 30 minutes from collecting the skin sample to treatment of the affected area. In cases of chronic wounds, including DFUs and VLUs, the suspension is sprayed or dripped onto the skin. It has been shown to significantly reduce the healing time of wounds and leaves the patient with skin with similar elasticity, texture and pigmentation to surrounding skin, with limited scarring.