There is a critical need for collaboration between the pharmaceutical and medical device industries to develop wound management solutions, says Ran Frenkel, the CEO of Swiss biotech start-up Polaroid Therapeutics.

In an exclusive interview with Pharmaceutical Technology, Frenkel said financial barriers that keep pharma and medtech companies from collaborating are among some of the existing challenges in the wound management space.

Frenkel says there is more space for the therapeutic combination of drugs and devices, which would allow the development of topical solutions or repurposing of previously approved drugs. He says this would be key for maximising the efficacy of wound management treatments. Most often, antibiotics are used as part of wound management, but new methods must be developed by the pharmaceutical industry as the antibiotic resistance problem progresses.

Polaroid Therapeutics is developing a candidate for wound management that integrates antibacterial polymer technology into a dressing. The company is also developing a coating for use on medical devices like catheters and implants, to reduce infection risk. Polaroid’s therapeutic candidate does not involve antibiotics, which aligns with Polaroid’s mission to tackle antibiotic resistance, says Frenkel. Polaroid is considering extending its use to treating site-specific infections and other conditions, he adds. The healthcare company aims to launch the product before the end of 2025, and is open to partnerships with marketing and distribution partners globally to improve access.

According to GlobalData, there are currently only three US Food and Drug Administration-approved therapies for surgical wound infections. Furthermore, there are no non-antibiotic therapies for this type of infection in development across the global clinical pipeline. Moreover, 25 therapies that were originally marketed for treating surgical wound infections have been withdrawn over the years, as per GlobalData. Frenkel says that this lack of development is partially due to a focus on wound management specific to certain therapy areas. For example, biotechs may develop a therapeutic for wounds seen in patients with diabetic ulcers rather than general treatment for wound management.

GlobalData is the parent company of Pharmaceutical Technology.

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The CEO says that the area of wound management is underfunded by the public sector. “We need support from the government, NGOs, the World Health Organization and others to really make a change,” says Frenkel.