The National Necrotizing Fasciitis Foundation (NNFF) today announced that it has awarded NNFF's Lifetime Health-Science Achievement Award 2015 to John Crew, MD and Ron Najafi, PhD for "Excellence in Innovative Healthcare". Their pioneering work has improved care for patients with life-threatening 'flesh-eating' disease and other types of wounds.
"Before the breakthrough by Dr. Najafi and Dr. Crew, even with aggressive standard treatment using antibiotics and surgery to cut away dead tissue, up to 20 percent of patients with necrotizing fasciitis or 'flesh-eating' disease died," said NNFF co-founder and executive director Jacqueline Roemmele. "Even if patients survived, most lost arms, legs or other body parts. But none of the more than three dozen patients treated with the new approach has lost a body part. None have died."
Dr. John Crew is director of the Advanced Wound Care Center at Seton Medical Center in Daly City, CA. Ron Najafi is President and CEO of NovaBay® Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NYSE MKT:NBY), a biopharmaceutical company focusing on the development and commercialization of its non-antibiotic anti-infective products.
Dr. Najafi's key contribution was developing what NovaBay calls Neutrox™, the only pure, stable version of hypochlorous acid (HOCl) available. HOCl is a substance that the immune system produces as a first defense against microbial invaders. But no one was able to make a pure and stable version until Dr. Najafi and NovaBay created a Neutrox-containing wound cleanser called NeutroPhase™. Lab tests show that Neutrox not only kills bacteria, it also neutralizes the toxins that kill tissue.
Dr. John Crew realized that, because of NeutroPhase's ability to kill microbes and neutralize toxins in solution, the wound cleanser offered a potential advance in the treatment of necrotizing fasciitis. He developed a method of irrigating 'flesh-eating' wounds with NeutroPhase, in combination with negative pressure wound therapy. The new approach saved both the life and infected arm of the very first patient he treated, Lori Madsen, as Dr. Crew described in the scientific journal, Wounds. It has achieved similar success with every patient treated since then. The achievement has also earned Dr. Crew a nomination for the Lister Legacy Prize, an award presented by the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh to recognize contributions in controlling infections.
The Lifetime Health-Science Achievement Award 2015 was presented to Dr. Crew and Dr. Najafi by Jacqueline Roemmele in Emeryville, CA.
"This is a great honor, and an important recognition of the many benefits of NeutroPhase and other NovaBay products. We are pleased that our work has saved so many lives," said Dr. Najafi.
SOURCE National Necrotizing Fasciitis Foundation