Spray-on skin shows promise as a treatment for leg ulcers

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Spray-on skin shows promise as a treatment for leg ulcers
Spray-on skin shows promise as a treatment for leg ulcers
A “spray-on skin” could help treat leg ulcers more effectively than traditional wound dressings, according to recent tests.

The spray, which is made by Texas-based Healthpoint Biotherapeutics, consists of neonatal keratinocytes and skin cells called fibroblasts. Investigators believe the two substances work together to reduce healing times and stimulate the production of new skin.

In a recent drug trial, patients using the spray healed 21 days faster than a control group. All 228 study participants had venous leg ulcers. These are shallow wounds that often occur in residents experiencing circulation problems in their veins.

“If you don't get these to heal, they become chronic, and the older the wounds are, the harder they become to heal with [any treatment],” said researcher Herbert B. Slade, M.D. He is a pediatrician at the University of North Texas Health Science Center and is also the chief medical officer at Healthpoint Biotherapeutics.

Two strengths of the new product were tested, along with bandages. The largest improvements were seen among patients who received a lower-strength dose every two weeks; there was a 16% greater reduction on average of the wound area, compared to a group that was given a spray that didn't contain the new therapy, after a dozen weeks.

“Compression bandages work for 30% to 70% of people but are not 100% effective,” Slade added.

Full findings appear in the Lancet.
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