Novel Barrier Gauze May Provide Additional Safeguards Against Influenza Viruses including H1N1

An independent lab report demonstrated that BIOGUARD™ barrier gauze dressings exhibit greater than 99.9% inactivation rates against swine flu virus after exposure for 24 hours. This laboratory report may provide timely evidence that these antimicrobial dressings can play a significant role in the infection prevention program at hospitals and other healthcare facilities.

Derma Sciences, Inc., a specialty medical device and pharmaceutical company focused on advanced wound care, recently released an independent laboratory report indicating that the company’s BIOGUARD™ barrier gauze dressings, noted to provide strong antimicrobial efficacy against such virulent pathogens as MRSA, also exhibit high antiviral efficacy against the H1N1 virus. The patented BIOGUARD™ dressings harness the antibacterial properties of a unique biocide known as Poly (DADMAC), which is inherently bactericidal and has been shown to be nontoxic in the standard battery of required biocompatibility tests.

BCS Laboratories Inc. of Gainesville, Florida exposed two varieties of BIOGUARD™ dressings to quantities of the Influenza A (H1N1; ATCC VR-1469) virus for a period of 24 hours. At the end of this interval, quantities of the virus were found to be reduced in both dressings by an average percentage of 99.93%.

Although human-to-human transmission of H1N1 virus can occur through coughing or sneezing by people infected with the influenza virus, or by touching something with flu viruses on it and then touching one’s mouth or nose, the potential also exists of transmission via cross-contamination during wound dressing changes. Two published studies on Influenza A provided evidence that strains of influenza virus are able to survive on surfaces. Transmission of the virus has been documented to occur from porous and non-porous surfaces in large enough quantities to potentially cause disease.

“This is especially true if the dressing is soaked with wound fluid, which can increase the time the virus survives in the dressing. When an infected wound’s dressing is changed, pathogens within the dressing are potentially made airborne, increasing the risk of infection to those in the immediate vicinity. Wound care patients also run the risk of being infected by a virus as their dressings are changed. The H1N1 virus can be transmitted from the wound dressings to the hands of healthcare workers, while small airborne droplets of wound fluid with H1N1 can be inhaled by doctors, nurses or patients,” said Gregory Schultz, Ph.D, a Professor at the department of obstetrics and gynecology at the Institute for Wound Research in Gainesville, FL.

“From a global perspective, hospitals and other healthcare facilities are beginning to adhere to strict infection prevention programs, and this laboratory report provides timely evidence that special attention needs to be paid to wound care during this season’s influenza pandemic. BIOGUARD™ dressings may play a significant role in helping to curb the virus,” said Edward J. Quilty, Chairman and CEO of Derma Sciences. Quilty added that the use of BIOGUARD™ dressings involve virtually no chance of resistance, making the dressing ideal for widespread prophylactic usage. “Given the rising costs of healthcare around the world, BIOGUARD™ can be seen as a global brand to cost-effectively reduce the spread of pathogens including bacteria such as MRSA, and viruses such as the H1N1.”

About Derma Sciences, Inc.

Derma Sciences is a specialty medical device / pharmaceutical company focusing on advanced wound care. Its key product, MEDIHONEY®, is sold throughout the world by Derma Sciences and Comvita New Zealand - the licensor of the patented honey-based technology - and is the leading brand of honey-based dressings for the management of wounds and burns. The product has been shown to be effective in a variety of wounds and burns, and was the focus of a positive large-scale randomized controlled trial on leg ulcers. BIOGUARD(TM) Barrier Dressing is the Company’s latest new product entrant into the $14 billion global wound care market. Derma also has in development DSC127, a novel angiotensin analog for accelerated wound healing and scar reduction. Patient enrollment for a Phase II study began in Q4 of 2008. Primary endpoint results from this study are expected to be announced within Q3 of 2010.

Source:  Derma Sciences Inc.

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