Skin regeneration is on course for an overhaul on the back of revelations made by regenerative medicine company Avita Medical (ASX: AVH) with a technology platform able to treat severe burns.
RECELL is a medical device designed to facilitate skin regeneration while minimising the amount of skin that must be “harvested” at the time of surgery.
By being able to reduce donor site skin requirements, accelerating the healing process and reducing the amount of tissue rejection, Avita intends to gain a potentially crucial commercial advantage.
If successful, Avita’s RECELL technology could lead to significant improvements in how severe burns are treated, including reduced treatment time, less scarring and better pigmentation after treatment.
Presenting at the “Top-Five Abstract plenary session” of the American Burn Association’s (ABA) 50th annual meeting in Chicago, Dr William Hickerson, MD, explained that Avita’s novel approach using its own in-house developed technology had outperformed expectations in a recent controlled clinical trial.
According to Dr Hickerson, burn sites treated with Avita’s RECELL device required 97.5% less donor skin than burn sites treated with traditional treatment. The result means that with RECELL, burn victims need less donor skin, suffer less pain and, ultimately, obtain a higher rate of satisfaction following treatment of severe second-degree burns.
“The RECELL device requires significantly less skin for definitive closure of deep partial-thickness burns without any compromise to healing or safety outcome,” said Dr Hickerson.
“These results are an important advancement in the treatment of burns. As a result of the significant reduction in donor skin with the RECELL device, the trial results showed increased donor-site healing, reduced pain and increased patient satisfaction,” said Dr Hickerson.
Presenting the next generation of regenerative skin care
Dr Hickerson’s presentation titled, “A Comparative Study of RECELL Device and Autologous Split-Thickness Meshed Skin Graft in the Treatment of Acute Burn Injuries,” described outcomes from the controlled trial conducted at 12 “burn centres”, each specialising in treating severe burn injuries in the US.
The pivotal trial evaluated 101 adult patients with thermal, partial-thickness burns covering 1-20% of their bodies.
Patients served as their own control, and two comparable burn sites were selected for comparative testing on each patient. One burn site was treated with the RECELL device, while the other burn site was treated with the standard treatment, a 2:1 meshed autograft.
Crucially, the clinical trial showed that burn sites treated with the RECELL device “achieved definitive closure comparable to the burn sites treated with standard of care” indicating that in future, some burn victims could expect to achieve a full recovery with RECELL, over and above the current capabilities being offered by traditional skin grafts.
Furthermore, treatment with RECELL achieved a significant improvement in cost-effectiveness.
Kevin Foster, managing director of the Arizona Burn Center, said that the treatment with the RECELL device was found to reduce total treatment costs compared to the standard of care, “particularly for large burns and burns initially of indeterminate depth”.
The model determined that the RECELL device could reduce the cost of treatment by 44%, according to Avita.
“Management of severe burns is costly due to complex, individualised treatment, and the requirement for hospitalisation and multiple procedures,” said Dr Foster. “The model discussed today highlights the potential of the RECELL device to improve patient care in the treatment of severe burns, while also providing a technique for reducing the total cost of treatment,” he added.