Imbed Biosciences said last week that it received a $1.5 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to develop a bioresorbable, antibacterial wound dressing.
Fitchburg, Wis.-based Imbed said the two-year Small Business Innovation Research grant, from the NIH’s National Institute for Arthritis & Musculoskeletal & Skin Diseases, is for R&D on a bioresorbable wound dressing with silver and gallium metal ions that can kill bacteria hiding in wound biofilms. Preclinical work is slated for a subcontract with the University of Wisconsin’s School of Veterinary Medicine in Madison, Imbed said.
Phase I research showed that a combination of silver and gallium in Imbed’s Microlyte dressing eradicated mature biofilms that did not respond to a commercial silver dressing. Imbed R&D VP Guarav Pranami said in a news release that the company’s stabilized metal ions can kill the bacteria in biofilms without harming the skin cells involved in healing.
The NIH said healthcare costs associated with the treatment of chronic wounds in the U.S. exceeds $25 billion per year, affecting 6.5 million patients.
“This antibiofilm dressing research program is built upon the clinical success of our next-generation FDA-cleared Microlyte silver dressing that has been used in the treatment of thousands of chronic wounds patients in the U.S.,” co-founder & CEO Ankit Agarwal said in the statement. “Research in this NIH Phase II grant will document a synergy in the unique ability of gallium ions to penetrate biofilms and sensitize bacteria to the antimicrobial action of silver ions.”
“There are no effective therapeutic options available in clinics today to completely remove biofilms from wounds,” added co-founder Dr. Michael Schurr. “Microlyte microscale dressing is unique because it adheres intimately with the deep wound tissue surface where bacterial biofilms colonize. The localized therapy with combination of antibiofilm gallium and antimicrobial silver can be both effective and non-toxic.”