Burton company part of the fight against skin cancer

A CONSORTIUM of industry experts, which includes a Burton-on-Trent company, has won a further grant to develop a novel regenerative medicine product to help repair wounds such as those suffered by skin cancer patients.

EktoTherix, a bioresorbable “tissue scaffold” material that assists in patient tissue repair and regeneration, has been developed by Neotherix supported by Burton- based Lorien Engineering Solutions and Smith & Nephew.

The treatment provides an aesthetically acceptable repair to the skin.This avoids the need to either graft donor skin tissue from elsewhere on the patient or have an extended healing process with regular dressing changes and repeat visits to the clinic and the accompanying increased risk of infection. It will benefit the NHS by providing a convenient and cost-effective treatment for dermatologists and surgeons.

The consortium of experts has now secured 50% funding for the £414,000 project from the Technology Strategy Board to take the therapy into the final development stage of clinical trials. This follows an earlier feasibility project grant made to Neotherix by the Board in 2009 and a Developing Therapeutics project grant to the consortium (also by the Board) in 2010.

Lorien is leading the work to bring the manufacturing operation to the standards that will be required by regulatory authorities. 

The firm’s life sciences director Bill Treddenick said: “This new grant award is fantastic news for the project as the product has the potential to greatly improve patient outcomes and reduce public healthcare costs.”

The investment in EktoTherix is part of a £21.5m programme of competitions, managed by the Technology Strategy Board, in the area of regenerative medicine.