July 9 - An Israeli biotech company which uses donors' white blood cells to help cure chronic wounds is claiming substantial success in treating hard-to-heal lesions and hope to receive FDA approval by 2017. Jim Drury reports.
TV AND WEB RESTRICTIONS~**NONE* Wounds usually heal naturally, the human body starting its seal and repair process almost immediately after the skin has opened. But in cases where patients are diabetics or suffer from conditions such as ischemia, where blood supply is restricted, the process can fail. Israeli company Macrocure say their product CureXcel, provides a solution. CureXcell is a concentrated mixture of white blood cells. When injected directly into a patient's wounds, Macrocure CEO Nissim Mashiach says it has proven extremely effective. SOUNDBITE (English) NISSIM MASHIACH, PRESIDENT AND CEO OF MACROCURE SAYING: "We have over 70 percent of the wounds has been closed with all the patients that we did so far and this is a significant difference from any other type of patients or publications that has been published so far". Maschiach says the firm takes white blood cells, normally disposed of by blood banks after donors sign release forms. SOUNDBITE (English) NISSIM MASHIACH, PRESIDENT AND CEO OF MACROCURE SAYING: "We are extracting those cells from whole blood, from healthy donors activate those cells (that) basically participate in the wound healing, the normal wound healing." Three injections over consecutive months releases the necessary cytokines and growth factors to allow patients to achieve full wound closure, says Mashiach. Other treatments like sprays, bandages or ointments have limited effect in chronic wounds. Macrocure Company vice president of development, Adi Zuloff-Shani, says more than 5,000 patients have been treated with CureXcell in Israel, most with positive outcomes. (SOUNDBITE) (English) ADI ZULOFF-SHANI, VICE PRESIDENT DEVELOPMENT AT MACROCURE, SAYING: " The product is very effective and a good safety profile, and we have started a Phase Three study, it will be the 11th study that is being conducted in the USA" And hopefully says Zuloff-Shani, it will lead to FDA approval. She says the company has high hopes for CureXcell in hospitals around the world.