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Published on : Nov 02, 2017

Chronic wounds in diabetic and older adults is riddled with considerable complications, and the treatment requires innovative approaches. A team of international scientists from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, U.S. demonstrated the efficacy of topical gels reformulated from common pills used to treat hypertension in blocking inflammation pathways and accelerating wound healing in diabetic, aged mice and pigs. They have intensified their efforts in seeking the drug approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Their work is detailed in a paper published on October 16, 2017 in the Journal of Investigative Dermatology. Given the fact that the regulatory agency hasn’t approved any drug for wound healing in the past decade, this marks a notable development.

1% Valsartan Gel found to be Most Effective Among all Tested Formulations

Previous experiments have shown that the abnormal regulation of the skin’s renin-angiotensin system (RAS) is largely responsible for the delay in chronic wound healing in animals. The scientists conducted a series of experiments with diabetic and older mice in three separate phases and validated the results in porcine model. Analyzing the effects of topical reformulations of common class of drugs or blockers, they found drugs such as losartan and valsartan, in varying concentrations-notably 1% valsartan and 10% losartan-have promising effects on wound healing.

The results showed that 1% valsartan gel compared to other formulations and placebo was able to secure the complete wound healing in diabetic mice by closure time and increasing their tensile strength. For instance, the gel closed 12 wounds by day 50 of the experiment. Of note, the researchers found that the placebo-treated wounds only healed 10% of the mice. The drug was found to act locally on the animals’ tissues without boring any harmful physiological effects.

Gel Tested Favorably in Porcine Model could Prove Promising for Humans as Well

The investigators replicated the study in pigs given the striking similarity their skins have with those of humans to find the biological effect of the gel on wound repair. They found that the formulation not only greatly facilitated healing but favorably affected the collagen content and tensile strength in pigs.

Continuing with their work further, the researchers contend that if the results corroborate, the gel could be opened for commercial use in patient populations.