Medicine for wounds showing promise

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Swedish researchers are about to start clinical tests for a medication that appears to help wounds heal more quickly.

Behind this new medicine is a group of researchers at the Department of Medical Chemistry and Biophysics Umeå University in Sweden. They discovered the protein plasminogen is a key regulator that initiates and accelerates wound healing. It does this by triggering the inflammatory reaction. Full findings are about to be published in the journal Blood.

“We have the knowledge needed to develop a medicine,” said Tor Ny, Ph.D., a professor and one of the article's authors. He also noted the bulk of the preclinical research is done.

The Umeå researchers are initially concentrating on diabetic wounds, as diabetic wounds that do not heal are the most severe type of chronic wounds. Many of the roughly 350 million diabetes patients in the world develop foot ulcers.

Plasminogen is produced in the liver and found in all bodily fluids. It has potential for working on other types of wounds, the researchers said, such as tympanic membrane perforations and periodontitis. It has also been effective in combatting antibiotic-resistant bacteria. n