Utah-based biotech PolarityTe Inc. (NSDQ:COOL) has successfully regenerated skin and triggered hair growth in pigs with burns and abrasions. The breakthrough is a win in regenerative medicine, especially for tissue engineers hoping to help burn victims recover their skin.
The firm’s approach involves using a patient’s own healthy tissue to grow human skin as a treatment for burns and wounds.
Traditional methods to treat serious burns are limited in their effectiveness and can be very costly, PolarityTe founder & CEO Denver Lough told Reuters.
One widely-used skin graft is Vericel’s Epicel – but that product doesn’t result in functional skin.
Using wounded pigs at an animal facility in Utah, PolarityTe tested its regenerative approach. The company told the news wire that their therapy resulted in scar-less healing, stimulated the growth of hair follicles, completely covered the wound and regenerated all skin layers.
Pig skin is more complex than human skin, so successfully data in swine models is usually seen as a good sign for human trials.
The company said it is slated to begin a human trial later this year and that it hopes the cell therapy could be available a year to 18 months after the trial.
“If clinically successful, the PolarityTe platform could deliver the 1st scientific breakthrough in wound healing and reconstructive surgery in nearly half a century,” Lough said, according to Reuters.
PolarityTe added that the technology’s potential isn’t limited to skin regeneration, but could include developing fully-functional bone, muscle and cartilage.
The company told Reuters that it would be “opportunistic” with financing to support upcoming trial expenses.
COOL shares were trading at $18.16 apiece in late-afternoon trading today, up 1%.
Material from Reuters was used in this report.