Stratatech Corp., a privately-held regenerative medicine company, today announced that it has been awarded a $3.5 million Fast-Track SBIR grant to expand the development of its anti-infective living human skin substitute. Stratatech was one of only a few companies that received an award from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) under a special request for applications to foster partnerships to develop therapeutics and diagnostics for drug-resistant bacteria. For this project, Stratatech is partnering with the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology, the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the Waisman Clinical Biomanufacturing Facility.
“There is an urgent need to develop a robust therapeutic skin substitute capable of disrupting and preventing wound biofilms”
The NIAID grant will fund development work that will focus on the efficacy of a genetically-modified living human skin substitute called ExpressGraftEnhance tissue in the prevention and disruption of biofilms. A biofilm is a community of bacteria growing in a matrix that adheres to a surface. Biofilms inhibit wound healing and are highly resistant to antibiotic treatment. In addition, the naturally-occurring dispersal of biofilms is thought to play an important role in the aggravation and spread of disease. The National Institutes of Health estimates that biofilms play a role in 80 percent of human infectious disease.