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New Burn Treatment Under Development for Severe Injuries

Home » New Burn Treatment Under Development for Severe Injuries
September 25, 2019
Edward Smith

Novel Burn Treatment Under Development for Severe Injuries

Over the past few years, burn treatment has been an active area of research. A company called Mallinckrodt recently announced that its novel burn injury treatment produced positive results in clinical trials. This might provide a suitable alternative to conventional treatments, such as autografts. Autografts are skin grafts that are taken from one part of the patient’s body and moved to another location to assist with healing. If a patient has a severe burn injury on their back, a surgeon might move the skin from one part of the body (such as the inner thigh) to the back to assist with the healing process.

One of the biggest problems with current burn treatment options is that, even after the skin has healed, there are scars left behind. These scars can be large, can cause mobility problems, and can impact someone’s self-esteem.

Mallinckrodt has been working hard on a burn treatment technology called StrataGraft. The goal of this treatment is to provide those who have suffered severe burn injuries with an alternative to scars and autografts. Their new technology might be able to do exactly that.

Why Do Burns Leave a Scar?

Even though burns will eventually heal, one of the most common complications is scarring. When someone suffers a severe burn injury, the cells of the skin are damaged. In order to repair this damage, the body deploys the immune system to start the healing process. In addition to preventing infection, the immune system also uses a protein called collagen to repair wounds. Unfortunately, collagen is also slightly different than the original skin tissue. As a result, its appearance is also different. This causes the collagen repair process to leave behind a scar.

Over time, scars might fade slightly. Some people even invest in plastic surgery to try and change the appearance of a scar. Unfortunately, these scars are often permanent and can be damaging to someone’s confidence and self-esteem. In order to speed the healing process and shrink the scars, autografts have been used in burn treatment.

What is Autograft Treatment?

Large burns can take a long time to heal on their own. Furthermore, they can produce enormous scars. In order to hasten the healing process, doctors have been performing a procedure called an autograft. In an autograft, the skin is moved from one area of the patient’s body to the site of the burn. This rapidly covers the burn with protective tissue and might reduce the formation of collagen. By covering the burn with native skin, the potential for scarring reduces.

Unfortunately, autograft treatment also has its own risks. Taking skin from another part of the patient’s body creates a second, large wound. This can lead to complications such as chronic pain, severe infections, and might even result in its own scar. Patients have also reported severe, intractable itching. Furthermore, the skin might not function as well when it is re-implanted. For these reasons, researchers have been trying to find an alternative treatment option that does not require an autograft. Mallinckrodt might have found the answer.

Burn Treatment with StrataGraft from Mallinckrodt

Mallinckrodt has been working on a novel regenerative tissue technology called StrataGraft. This technology has been designed to mimic human skin. It has been built in separate layers, just like natural human skin. The bottom layer has been designed to match the dermis of human skin. The top layer is meant to resemble the epidermis, which is the top layer of human skin.

This tissue comes in the form of a circular patch. It can be attached to the burn site with either sutures or staples. It is also easily secured with a simple adhesive. The goal of this novel treatment option is to reduce or eliminate the requirement for an autograft in individuals with severe burns. By avoiding the need for an autograft, serious complications from generating a second wound can be prevented. This might even reduce the frequency of scar formation. Recently, Mallinckrodt announced the results of their phase 3 clinical trial for Stratagraft. The results are promising.

The Results of the Phase 3 Clinical Trial

A phase 3 clinical trial involves comparing the novel technology versus the current standard of care. This clinical trial had two groups of patients who had suffered severe burns. One group of patients was treated with StrataGraft. The other group of patients was treated with the current standard of care, an autograft. Then, the results were compared.  Mallinckrodt announced that their trial was an overwhelming success, meeting all of its goals and endpoints. Some of the highlights of the study results include:

  • Four percent of the StrataGraft treatment sites required an additional autograft after three months
  • Two percent of the individuals in the control group required a repeat autograft at three months
  • By study design, this means that StrataGraft allowed 98 percent of patients to avoid requiring an autograft
  • 83 percent of the wounds treated with StrataGraft achieved wound closure at three months after treatment
  • In contrast, 86 percent of wounds treated with an autograft achieved wound closure at three months
  • These results show that StrataGraft performed favorably when compared to the typical autograft
  • The most commonly reported side effect of StrataGraft was itching, which is a well-known side effect of autografts
  • There were no local infections reported in the StrataGraft group, an important safety metric

These results show that Stratagraft is both safe and effective in the treatment of severe burns. It will be exciting to see what the next steps are in the development of this technology. It provides hope to individuals who have suffered severe burn injuries. This treatment option may allow many people to avoid the complications of having an autograft procedure performed.

Burn Injury Lawyers in Sacramento

I’m Ed Smith, a Sacramento Burn Injury Lawyer. The new burn treatment offers hope to those who have suffered severe injuries. If someone you care for has suffered a major burn due to the negligence of another person or entity, please give me a call today by using (916) 921-6400 and by calling (800) 404-5400 for free, friendly legal advice.

I am an honored part of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum and of the Top One Percent, which is a National Association of Distinguished Counsel. Members of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum have received verdicts & negotiated settlements in cases worth more than $1 million dollars.

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Citation of Photo: The image at the top was found first on Pixabay and has been reproduced here with permission under the Creative Commons License.

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