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Last Updated: Saturday, 10 January, 2004, 18:25 GMT
Firm claims 'superbug' breakthrough
MRSA ( pic courtesy of Pfizer)
Clinical trials found that the device eradicated MRSA
A company which makes a device to treat conditions like foot ulcers says it has discovered by accident that the device can also kill the MRSA 'superbug'.

MRSA (Methecillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus) causes an estimated 2,000 deaths in UK hospitals each year.

Dentron, based at Efailwen in Carmarthenshire, had received 45,000 in financial backing from the Welsh Development Agency, to try to develop a bigger version of its electronic antibiotic, called a biogun

"We actually failed in that," said managing director Jonathan Copus.

"But what we came up with is of far more importance - a way of conquering the MRSA superbug."

Now the challenge is to find a more efficient delivery system so that larger areas can be treated more effectively
Jonathan Copus
Laboratory trials at the Princess of Wales Hospital in Bridgend and then a clinical study at a foot clinic at Manchester Royal Infirmary found that the biogun eradicated the MRSA bug in some diabetic foot ulcers.

"It was very successful in getting rid of ulcers with an average diameter of 19mm, although it was less successful with larger ones," said Mr Copus.

"Now the challenge is to find a more efficient delivery system so that larger areas can be treated more effectively."

The biogun, which Mr Copus says is the world's first and only electronic antibiotic, has been available for professionals to buy since 1996.

It works by destroying micro-organisms on surfaces such as skin, flesh and dentine with a concentrated stream of electrically-charged air particles.

The device has the approval of the government agency the Medicines and Health Care Products Agency.

But further tests will now to be done to see how its uses in killing the MRSA bug can be extended, said Mr Copus.

Set up in 1989, Dentron Ltd employs a staff of three at its headquarters in Carmarthenshire.

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