Monday, November 21, 2011

Clinical trial will aim to reduce surgical scarring

By Janet French, The StarPhoenix November 19, 2011

A Saskatoon biotechnology company is preparing to launch a clinical trial of a new drug it says could help reduce surgical complications.

Health Canada has given AdeTherapeutics permission to proceed with clinical trials for Evitar, a compound the company says can help reduce scarring from surgery.

Obstetricians and Gynecologists in Saskatoon will be the first to try out Evitar on humans, starting with women who have ectopic pregnancies. An ectopic pregnancy is a non-viable embryo that implants in tissue outside a woman’s womb. A rupture can threaten a woman’s life, and the embryo must be surgically removed.

Lead by principal investigator Dr. Donna Chizen, participating surgeons at City and Royal University hospitals will ask women diagnosed with ectopic pregnancies if they’re willing to join the trial, says Sanj Singh, president and CEO if AdeTherapeutics.

“The patients will be more than willing (to join) because the ectopics lead to such bad complications for future pregnancies that they’re very keen on any type of treatment that will help with future fertility,” Singh said.

According to the U.S. National Institutes of Health, only a third of women who have an ectopic pregnancy are able to later have a baby.

Many surgeries leave scar tissue in their wake as the body heals imperfectly, and that scarring often causes pain and complications, Singh said.

“Ninety-three per cent of surgeries result in scar tissue,” Singh said. “One in three readmissions back in hospital are due to complications like scar tissue.”

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