Friday, 10 Apr, 2009 Health & Fitness

Scientists Developed Drug that Reduces Scars


British researchers developed a drug, which they claim can reduce scarring after operation or injury. The drug showed promising results when tested on humans.

According to the Lancet medical journal, during a period of one year scientists carried out their tests of avotermin on volunteers. They injected a dummy drug and avotermin to find that the wounds were less red, raised and visible when being injected with the new drug.

Currently researches perform their testing on patients throughout Europe. It is worth mentioning that the early work on avotermin was carried out at the University of Manchester prior to establishing the spin-off biotechnology company Renovo, which continued the development of the drug.

Shortly after wounds were made all volunteers were given a 1cm full thickness skin injection of avotermin in one arm and a placebo in the other. Twenty four hours later they were injected once again. It was found that scars treated with the new drug looked almost like normal skin than scars treated with dummy drug, reports BBC News.

After many years spent on research, scientists finally discovered that the active component in avotermin was a signaling protein that possessed anti-scarring properties.

The lead researchers in the study Professor Mark Ferguson, an expert in wound healing at the University of Manchester and co-founder and CEO of Renovo, mentioned that at the moment scientists are performing advanced clinical studies.

"We're recruiting 350 patients who are undergoing scar revision operations where the bad scar is cut out and we inject one end of the new scar with the drug and one end with placebo," he said.

According to Ferguson, if the drug proves to be effective, it could be applied on scars shortly after the surgery or injury.

"What we know from our studies is you have to give the treatment when you close up the wound so if someone has had trauma it could be given within 48 hours of the injury," said the professor.

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