DocWire News recently spoke with Dr. Chen Barak, CEO of biotech startup Nanomedic Technologies, developer of the Spincare Solution, termed by some as a “Spider-Man style” medical gun for wound healing, to discuss a new paradigm in wound care. See what Dr. Barak had to say.
DocWire News: Can you tell us about yourself and your company, Nanomedic Technologies?
Dr. Chen Barak: So, my name is Dr. Chen Barak. I’m the CEO of Nanomedic Technologies. I’ve been in the company for more than six years now. I have a PhD in biomedical engineering as a background, and I’ve been in the medical device industry in Israel for more than 20 years in different startups and in different areas of the medical field. Nanomedic is a relatively new company. We were founded in the end of 2018 as a spinoff from another company by the name of Nicast. We are, basically, an expert or leaders in the development of portable electrospinning technology for medical applications. Currently, we are focusing on the wound care market, but in the future, it may go other directions as well.
Can you talk to us about the Spincare System and why it’s been called a “Spider-Man style Medical Gun?”
So, basically, when we talk about electrospinning technology in general, it’s a technology that comes in big machines, industrial-size machines, multiple parameters, computer control, and everything. What it does, it creates a fibrous matrix from different polymer solutions. It can be many kinds of materials. It can be many kinds of additives, and it can resolve in different kinds of matrices. Because it is a fibrous matrix, if you look under the microscope, it does look like a spider web. This is why this connotation comes up. What we did is we took this technology and miniaturized it into a handheld battery-operated device that actually can come to the patient, wherever he is, and treat him on the spot in situ.
So, taking the manufacturing site from the traditional place, into where the patient is. What we do is we apply, or we print in real time, a nanofibrous matrix that covers the wound, being a transient skin substitute instead of the skin that is missing for whatever reason. It can be a burn, it can be an abrasion, it can be a surgery, it can be different kinds of injuries where the skin is missing. This is where we come in and we cover it with a temporary skin-like layer that remains there until the healing is complete. This is a very unique point because we apply it once at the point of care, and this layer remains on the wound through our daily process. When the skin underneath is fully recovered or fully healed, our layer, our matrix dries off and peels off spontaneously.
So, of course, we had to go through the standard pathway of development for medical devices. It is highly regulated, both in Europe and in the U.S., all over the world. So, we had to go through a lot of bench testing, which we did here at home, in our office, and then animal studies to validate that what we think is right, that it works, indeed, on such-and-such wounds. Then, after that, we could go to clinical studies to actually treat patients with the Spincare system. That’s what we did. Today, we have about 300 patients that were treated already with the Spincare, suffering from burns, second-degree burns, surgical wounds like donor sites, for example. We have shown that we are very safe and effective, as we have to demonstrate for the regulatory, which resulted in a CE mark.
So, we are approved already in Europe to sell. So, this goes to European countries, but also to other countries worldwide that accept the CE as a standard. We are already in process with the FDA to be approved in the U.S. We are not yet there, but we are definitely on the way.
How big a gamechanger do you foresee this device being in wound care?
We definitely think we have a paradigm shift in our hands, because if you think about it, when you think about wound care, the first thing you think about is a piece of fabric. It may be very advanced, it may be less advanced, but it’s still a piece of fabric that you take from the shelf and you apply it on the wound. That’s the very general concept of bandages and dressings. Even if they are advanced and they contain sophisticated fabrics or sophisticated materials, they’re still stuck in the same concept.
We are coming from a complete different angle. We are actually maeonufacturing this layer as a fully personalized solution on the patient, on the wound, in real time. So, we always start from a single ampule with our special formulation. So, we don’t have different sizes. We don’t have different shapes. We always start with this material that we have, we put it in the device, and we create this nanofibrous matrix. We print it directly on the wound, whatever the geometry of the wound is. So, we don’t care if it’s big or small or round or square or whatever. So, when all the other solutions in the market are used to do patchwork to cover the wound and then apply over it, additional layers to fixate it, or even staples, or all kinds of adhesives to make it fixed to the wound, we don’t need it.
Our layer, our matrix, is fitting fully to the geometry of the wound, fully to the morphology of the wound. So, we follow all the humps and bumps that the wound would have. It is never a very flat… The injuries are never flat and uniform. It’s not the case. So, the fact that we actually print it in real time allows us to follow, with 100% accuracy, the form and the geometry of the wound. This also allows us to cover areas that are normally very hard to dress, like faces, for example. Think about it. Putting dressing or bandages on the face is very complicated. It takes time. It is very inconvenient for the patient. You end up like a mummy with all these layers around, right? So, with our case, we can follow exactly the geometry of the face in a single layer, and that’s it.
You can think about other areas of the body, like hands, where mobility is very important to be kept, right? So, with normal dressings, you would end up with a glove or boxing glove, and your hand will be fixated. Whereas, with our solution, we apply the layer, and the layer is flexible enough to allow the patient to continue and move during the healing process. So, getting back to normal life, to daily tasks, much more quickly than they used to. So, there are a lot of aspects to it. So, it’s excellent for the patient, giving them a better quality of life during their injury time, which is anyhow traumatic and complex, but also for the physicians, it’s a single-time application. You don’t need to redress, to remove, redress, and treat. The layer actually becomes transparent very quickly after you apply it.
So, the physicians can assess the wound or assess the healing through the layer. So, they don’t need to remove it. They just see it. They know if everything is okay, great. If something looks suspicious, then they know what to do, but they have full control over the process. Then, there is also the issue of the healthcare system, of course, with the cost effectiveness. Every stakeholder looks at different aspects of wound care, and we are trying to provide a decent solution for all stakeholders that improves the current reality. If you add on to it, the portability issue, that will allow you to go anywhere. So, hospitals are the first and very clear place to be, but you can be in every clinic, in every school, in emergency services, in ambulances, and also at home. So, there’s a significant trend today, to home care. It’s a worldwide trend. The hospitals are trying to release the patients as early as possible and complete the treatment at home, sending nurses, sending physicians to the patient, to his home, and complete the treatment there. With our portable device, it’s very easy. It’s basically built for that. So, there are a [inaudible] complete set of advantages that serves us here to lead a really different approach to wound care, a paradigm shift. This is due to this very innovative system that is first in the market. There’s no other such system in the market. So, it’s really a very unique approach to wound care, unique and innovative.
I just want to throw some futuristic thoughts that might give the readers a more broad view, because our system is a platform. So, we now have this one ampule that we are using on all those patients that we have done and all the [inaudible] that we will do in the future, but we are also able to incorporate, in our ampule, in our solution, additives that will support the healing in the more complex situations like very deep burns, like hard-to-heal wounds like chronic wounds. So, we have a whole pipeline of products that will be… It’s like an espresso model kind of thing. You have one machine and a lot of different ampules. So, this is our vision. This is where we go, going from the current ampule that we have, adding antibacterial components to it and collagen and different additives all the way through embedding cellular treatments, which today, is the highest level of treatment for wound care for the most complex, most challenging cases. We intend to be there. We intend to lead the way. So, this is what Nanomedic is all about.