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New nanodrug improves the treatment of diabetic foot ulcers

A nanomedicine developed and patented by the research group Nanomol at the Instituto de Ciencia de Materiales de Barcelona (CSIC), and by the Centro de Ingeniería Genética y Biotecnología in Cuba, will be commercialized by the company Heber Biotec. The agreement will allow the development and commercialization of a nanoformulated protein for the improved treatment of diabetic foot ulcers.

The new nanoformulation allows a topical administration, which is much less painful than the conventional infiltration.The development is the result of the cooperation between the research group of Prof. Jaume Veciana and Dra. Nora Ventosa, at the Institute of Materials Science of Barcelona of CSIC, and the Center for Genetics Engineering and Biotechnology (CIGB), from the Scientific Pole in Havana (Cuba).


The researchers have found that incorporating an epidermal growth factor (EGF) into a new type of nanoparticles (called Quatsomes), a drastic increase in epidermal regeneration is obtained. The team has demonstrated that this new nanomedicine improves the treatment of the diabetic foot ulcers and avoids the amputation of the limb.

These EGF nanovesicles, which were obtained through the DELOS procedure developed by the Nanomol team, have been tested in animal models and in compassionate treatments in humans, and have obtained complete ulcer healings within just 8 weeks.

The new nanoformulation has also the advantage of allowing a topical administration of the drug, which is much less painful than the conventional infiltration method currently used with the therapies already on the market.

In the experiments, scientists have obtained complete ulcer healings within just 8 weeks.

The Quatsomes consist of lipid nanoparticles similar to liposomes, but with a much higher stability over time, more than 3 years. This stability involves enormous advantages in terms of easiness of pharmaceutical formulation and for the guarantee of the final drug product quality. Besides, they are suitable for the encapsulation of molecules which are both soluble in water and insoluble, what makes them a highly versatile as nano-carriers of active molecules.

Quatsomes can be functionalized with elements for improving the directionality towards therapeutic targets, thus reducing side effects and toxicity for the patient. Therefore, Quatsomes can be considered as a new member of the latest generation of nanomedicines.

NANOMOL (ICMAB-CSIC) is a research group with wide expertise and recognized excellence in the synthesis, processing and study of molecular and polymeric materials with chemical, electronic, magnetic and biomedical properties. NANOMOL is also a member of the Biomedical Research Networking center in Bioengineering, Biomaterials and Nanomedicine (CIBER-BBN) and of the technology transfer network TECNIO of ACCIÓ, the latter being a network of technological centers and research groups specialized in industrial research.

Heber Biotec, the company which has acquired the licensing rights, operates in the field of international marketing of biotechnology products and is present in 45 countries with 412 pharmaceutical records. In recent years, Heber has diversified its product portfolio, including recombinant products from placental origin, small molecules obtained by chemical synthesis and generic drugs, including advanced antivirals from chemical nature as antiretrovirals.