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Partial Thickness Wounds

A permanently engrafting skin substitute would significantly reduce the costs of acute and chronic wound care, currently estimated to be $7B per year. In addition to surgical wounds, injuries such as burns comprise another significant potential problem for clinicians. The incidence of burn injuries in the United States is in excess of 1.5 million cases annually with 75,000 requiring inpatient management and up to 12,000 leading to death. Chronic wounds are most commonly encountered in the elderly, and include ulcers caused by infection, malnutrition, diabetes, and vascular insufficiency, amongst others.

The treatment of partial thickness burns and skin wounds has been limited by the lack of commercial availability of skin substitutes capable of permanent engraftment. The main limitation appears to be the inability of current commercially available products to avoid allorejection. The ideal skin substitute is one that can be used "off-the-shelf" in patients of any HLA type without the need for immunosuppression, HLA matching, or autologous sourcing. To overcome the latter, investigators have created a pluristratified epidermis from human ESCs; however, this graft only survives in immunocompromised hosts, making immune mismatch a key limitation in transplanting ESC-derived tissues. An additional barrier for skin substitutes is the immunogenicity of the 3-D scaffold employed. Thus, there remains an urgent unmet need for novel strategies that can results in permanently engrafting artificial skin products.


Scars result from numerous types of surgical procedures including non-elective, elective, cosmetic, plastic and reconstructive, and trauma. Scars often lead to debilitating aesthetic, functional and psychological effects and represent a significant area of unmet medical need. Recent trends suggest that patient's are now seeking better aesthetic outcomes following surgery and/or skin injury, leading to a significant demand for scar preventing and reducing pharmaceuticals. In 2004, there were at least 84 million procedures performed in the US and Europe that could have benefited from products that prevented or reduced scarring in the skin. Numerous patient surveys clearly indicate that most patients, irrespective of age, sex or race, are dissatisfied with the post-operative appearance of their scars. Currently, there are no FDA-approved products to reduce the appearance of scars in any setting. Escape believes that effective anti-scarring therapies will be in demand by patients, surgeons and physicians.

Skin Atrophy

Skin atrophy, or volume loss, results from a combination of loss of fat, collagen and elastin. Loss of one or more of these key skin components can occur secondary to both extrinsic and intrinsic factors, as well as numerous medical conditions such as endocrine disorders, HIV, and certain medications, amongst others. Current therapies such as fillers require ongoing maintenance treatments several times per year, making them inconvenient for patients. In addition, injection of these biomaterials into skin can cause unpredictable skin reactions, leading to a worsening of aesthetic appearance or texture rather than the desired improvement. Fat transfer procedures have generally been disappointing due to their short-lived benefits. Escape believes these technologies will not meet current market needs and that more effective, longer-lasting therapeutic options with improved safety and reliability are being demanded by patients and physicians.

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