NovaBay® Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NYSE MKT: NBY), a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company, today announced that WoundSource™ has highlighted NovaBay's NeutroPhase wound cleanser in a recent blog posting. The blog explains why NeutroPhase can play an important role in treating life-threatening necrotizing fasciitis, or 'flesh-eating' infections.
"WoundSource is a leading source of clinically reviewed wound care product information," said Dr. Ron Najafi, CEO of NovaBay. "We're very pleased that it has recognized NeutroPhase's potential to help treat these terrible infections."
In the blog posting, Dr. Bruce Ruben, founder and medical director of Encompass HealthCare in West Bloomfield, Michigan, describes new findings about "the vicious and deadly world of necrotizing fasciitis, the ghastly 'flesh-eating disease' that's been widely reported by the media."
As Dr. Ruben explains, "the main culprit in the infection is a very common bacterium that may be harmlessly colonizing on your skin right now called Group A streptococcus (GAS)."
In rare cases, however, the bacteria get into the deeper layers of the skin through a cut or scrape. There, as scientists have recently discovered, the microbes can produce toxins that impair the immune system's ability to fight the infection. As a result, the bacteria can spread rapidly along the connective tissues that cover the muscles, "leaving dead, necrotic tissue in their wake," Dr. Ruben writes.
About 25-30 percent of patients die, even with aggressive treatment. Many lose arms, legs or other body parts, because doctors have no choice but to cut off the dead tissue. "What makes these infections so ghastly are the disfiguring surgical excisions, amputations and scarring patients are left with if they survive," writes Dr. Ruben.
There is reason for optimism, though, Dr. Ruben adds. Because the toxins are so important in enabling the rapid spread of the bacteria, neutralizing those toxins can be crucial is fighting the disease. That's why NovaBay's NeutroPhase is promising. As Dr. Ruben writes, "NeutroPhase, a 0.01% pure hypochlorous acid saline solution with no bleach impurities, has been shown in extensive in vitro testing to kill bacteria in seconds and has the ability to neutralize toxins generated by GAS."
In fact, NeutroPhase has already been used successfully in the treatment of patients with 'flesh-eating' infections at Seton Medical Center in Daly City, California, as described in a recent paper in the journal WOUNDS. None of the 17 patients treated to date has died. None has even lost a limb or any other body part. "We believe that NeutroPhase will become the new standard of care in treating these devastating infections," said Dr. Najafi.