Avita Medical Ltd., a regenerative medicine company specializing in the treatment of wounds and skin defects, today announced that doctors in Taiwan have reported positive results from using ReCell® to treat burn victims of June’s waterpark disaster, with medics saying they have seen superior wound closure and better outcomes.
A total of 12 people have died from burns sustained in the June 27 blast, triggered when a flammable starch-based powder ignited during a crowded music festival at the waterpark outside Taipei. The fire left 498 people with burn injuries, most of them teenagers, with the average wound size covering 43% of their bodies. Officials say 107 victims remain hospitalized, of whom 12 are still in intensive care.
Avita Medical donated 50 ReCell® devices and sent a team to support Taiwanese medical personnel. All of these units, and a number of purchased devices, were distributed to 12 hospitals. To date, about 76 patients have been treated with ReCell® and doctors contacted since the treatment began have now reported positive outcomes in their application of Regenerative Epithelial Suspension™ to both wounds and donor sites. Definitive conclusions around the impact of ReCell® are difficult to draw in circumstances where multiple treatments are being provided to meet the challenges of a mass casualty; however, when ReCell® is part of care, it is reported that better-than-expected outcomes are often being achieved.
“There was a great range and variation of burn wounds, so it is heartening to hear directly from the doctors that the regenerative healing mechanism has performed as we hoped it would,” said Adam Kelliher, CEO of Avita Medical. “Using ReCell® was a new approach for the surgeons, and it was being applied in extreme circumstances, so we are pleased to be able to report benefits amongst these various anecdotal accounts.”
One of the doctors contacted, Dr. Yu-Ching Shih, a plastic surgeon at Taipei Veterans General Hospital, said he had conducted four treatments with ReCell®, and reported positive outcomes in healing and better-resulting skin quality. He observed that the device is ‘important in accelerating healing, as we have seen that ReCell® does help wound closure.’
Dr. Shi said in one of the cases, donor skin shortages meant the patient could only receive ReCell® on one thigh, while the other thigh was merely given a dressing.
“After 14 days, we could see wound closure on the right [ReCell-treated] thigh and no progress of wound healing on the left [untreated] thigh,” Dr. Shi said. “We will keep monitoring results in the coming months, and it will be of particular interest to see if ReCell® can help stop such typical scarring problems as contracture.”
Dr. Wen-Pin Kao, chief doctor of the plastic surgery department at Changhua Christian Hospital, said using ReCell® in conjunction with other treatments such as grafts had boosted the survival rate of ‘skin islands’ within the wound bed by up to 90%.
“The final result is better than we expected,” Dr Kao said. “ReCell® is showing that it can enhance the survival rate of skin grafts. By using this, we are seeing that there is no need for another skin graft treatment.”
ABOUT RECELL®, REGENERCELL®. RENOVACELL®, AND RES™
Avita Medical’s unique proprietary technology enables a clinician to rapidly create, at point of care in approximately 30 minutes, Regenerative Epithelial Suspension (RES™) using a small sample of the patient’s skin. RES™ is an autologous suspension comprising the cells and wound healing factors thought necessary to regenerate natural, healthy skin. RES™ has a broad range of applications and can be created using specific Avita Medical devices and applied to select treatment indications:
- ReCell® for burn injuries, to repair for earlier definitive closure and superior outcomes;
- ReGenerCell® for chronic wounds, to initiate and promote healing in unresponsive wounds;
- ReNovaCell® for skin pigmentation defects, to restore pigmentation and improve the appearance of scars and damaged skin.
ABOUT AVITA MEDICAL LIMITED
Avita Medical develops and distributes regenerative products for the treatment of a broad range of wounds, scars and skin defects. Avita’s patented and proprietary collection and application technology provides innovative treatment solutions derived from a patient’s own skin. The Company’s lead product, ReCell®, is used in the treatment of a wide variety of burns, plastic, reconstructive and cosmetic procedures. ReCell® is patented, CE - marked for Europe, TGA - registered in Australia, and CFDA‐cleared in China. In the United States, ReCell® is an investigational device limited by federal law to investigational use. A pivotal U.S. trial is underway, with patient enrollment completion anticipated by the end of 2015.