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Last Updated: Saturday, 8 November, 2003, 00:08 GMT
Gel 'heals wounds more quickly'
Dr David Becker, UCL (Courtesy Medical Futures)
Dr David Becker has already won an award for the gel
A gel that helps wounds heal in half the time it takes currently has been developed by British scientists.

The gel, called Nexagon, works by speeding up the rate of wound closure and reducing inflammation.

Scientists at University College London have received an award for the gel at the Medical Futures Innovation Awards.

Although the gel still needs to go through clinical trials, they believe it could transform treatment for millions of people in just a few years.

'Many uses'

Laboratory tests on animals have shown that an ordinary cut that would normally take about a week to close heals in three days with the gel.

It has proved effective on skin, brain tissue, the cornea in the eye and even with injury to the spinal cord.

I would like to see this product go through clinical development so that patients can take advantage of this revolutionary technology as soon as possible
Dr David Becker,
University College London
The scientists believe it will have a wide range of potential applications.

They say it could benefit patients undergoing cosmetic surgery, those with chronic wounds or spinal injuries.

In particular, they believe elderly people could benefit from the gel, as they are more prone to slow healing wounds and infection.

They say the gel could significantly reduce the amount of time patients have to stay in hospital and enable health services to make substantial savings.

Nexagon works by speeding up the process by which cells organise themselves to enable them to grow across and close a wound.

It targets the gap junction - a small channel that allows cells to talk directly to their neighbours.

Dr David Becker, who led the team that developed the gel, said millions of people could benefit from it.

"An estimated 95 million people worldwide suffer wounds each year and yet few effective wound healing treatments have been developed," he said.

"There remains a large unmet need. I would like to see this product go through clinical development so that patients can take advantage of this revolutionary technology as soon as possible."

The scientists won the best biotechnology start-up innovation award at the Medical Futures Innovation Awards in London.


SEE ALSO:
Gel 'heals wounds without scars'
26 Oct 00  |  Health
Wound drug 'could speed healing'
02 Oct 03  |  Health
Written word helps wounds heal
06 Sep 03  |  Health


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