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A Slovenian research institute developed protein patches applicable for healing chronic skin wounds rapidly and cost efficiently. Patches are biodegradable – disappearing in the wound, leaving no residue and no scars behind, enabling a targeted and controlled release of therapeutic substances. Looking for a company, institute or a clinic to make clinical trials to test bio-compatibility of these patches with human stem cells for human patients under research or technical cooperation agreement.
Slovenian research institute developed the patch for treating chronic skin wounds. The basic goal of research was to improve the procedures of healing the severely painful chronic wounds that may, in case of serious conditions, result in the amputation of extremities. Current solutions are insufficiently effective and time consuming, as the bandage treating the wounds needs to be exchanged daily. Some of the patches that already exist on the market are capable of controlled drug release, but mostly made out of synthetic material, known to express low biocompatibility with human tissue. With elderly patients, that means everyday visits to the doctors or for the nursing personnel to visit the patient. In both ways, the current treat is also less economical.
The protein patch developed by the team of Slovenian researchers is a combination of three-dimensional highly porous scaffold and a film, both made of protein obtained from silk. The scaffold is capable of withholding the active substances or stem cells in the target area, while the film prevents the scaffold to stick to the bandage. The silk protein patch is also biodegradable. The team of Slovenian researchers is capable of pilot fabrication up to 100 pieces a month.
The main know-how is related to the procedure of preparation of the material, more precisely a protein network as a base for construction of the scaffolds and films, having suitable physical and chemical properties resulting in ability to withhold and release therapeutic substances simultaneously during its biodegradation in a controlled manner. By manipulating the quantity of material applied to the skin (e.g. thickness of the individual patch) it is possible to control the rate of biodegradation of these patches and the release of the therapeutic substances simultaneously. Therefore there is no need to exchange the patches on a daily basis (e.g. conventional therapies). If needed the treatment can be prolonged with another application of the patch containing therapeutic substance and/or stem cells.
The protein patch was already used in the animal study, combined with animal stem cells that were provided by collaborator - a Slovenian company performing animal stem cells treatments. The test, on cell lines and on large animals, provided crucial information for improvement of the patches regarding the material processing and scaffold design.
The information obtained from the animal studies also gives good insights for application of these patches with human stem cells for human patients. In vitro cell tests on biocompatibility and larger animal studies are in progress in the framework of existing research cooperation with Slovenian partners.
To expand the product to human medical market additional research and technical cooperation is sought with partners capable of conducting clinical trials.
Research cooperation should include testing of the product with different therapeutic substances and types of stem cells, adjusting the product to the customer needs and further development of the patches with active substances to be applied easily, without assistance of the medical personnel.
A partner who is capable of conducting clinical trials with human stem cells to test biocompatibility of biodegradable therapeutic protein patches with human stem cells for healing of chronic wounds under technical cooperation agreement is sought.
A desired partner can be a company with a suitable expertize, an institute or a clinic.
Search for a partner that is capable of conducting clinical trials with human stem cells in order to expand the product to human medical market. Trials should be taken in certified laboratories. Service should have clinical validity.
Type and role of partner sought:
Academic and /or industrial partners – researchers, clinicians and companies developing human and single use of medical biomaterials, providers of clinical trials, specialists in steam cell technologies, medical technology or biomedical engineering are sought.
Clinical trials for testing biocompatibility of human stem cells with biodegradable therapeutic protein patches in order to expand the product on human medical market, under technical cooperation agreement is sought.
Partner to test the product with different therapeutic substances, adjusting the product to the customer needs and further development of the patches with stem cells and other active substances to be applied easily, without assistance of the medical personnel, under research cooperation agreement are sought.