Burn patients may soon have a new treatment option available, as the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has entered into a contract with Novan Therapeutics (www.novantherapeutics.com) to advance the development of a nitric oxide-based therapy as a topical treatment for thermal burns. The Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), an agency within the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response, will provide funding of $7.8 million over two years. The contract will support the pharmaceutical development of the Nitric Oxide Advanced Healing (NOAH) technology including formulation work, nonclinical toxicology, and proof of concept studies in models of deep partial thickness and full thickness thermal injuries. This project is designed to enable future clinical investigation of the medical countermeasure.
Nitric oxide has been demonstrated throughout peer-reviewed literature to speed the migration of epidermal cells, stimulate new blood vessel growth, modulate inflammation, and re-model the wound bed. "The link between nitric oxide and the body's ability to heal is well established. The challenge is to create stable nitric oxide drugs that 'perform on command' and deliver a controlled, sustained dose that will supplement the body's ability to regenerate tissue,” said Nathan Stasko, president of Novan. “Our platform technology has allowed us to pursue the development of drugs intended to harness the healing power of nitric oxide with results extending far beyond bioterrorism. We believe the NOAH technology creates a gateway into regenerative medicine and could lead to therapies that can help heal both acute and chronic wounds."