June 28, 2016
Startup licenses Purdue innovation that could effectively, affordably heal wounds, ulcers commonly developed by diabetic patients
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – For the average person, minor scrapes and cuts don't usually cause major concern. For diabetic patients, however, these wounds can be very difficult to heal and are more likely to become ulcers that can cause significant pain and discomfort, and can even progress to the point where extremities have to be amputated.
MedNoxa LLC, an early stage medical device company, is commercializing a Purdue innovation that provides a novel, over-the-counter oxygen-based bandage that could bring effective and affordable ulcer or wound-healing solutions to diabetic patients that do not interrupt lifestyle or impede physical activity.
The startup is a result of a project that began at the University of Texas at Austin as part of the McCombs Business School Master of Science in Technology Commercialization program. Eric Frey, founder of MedNoxa, discovered the Purdue technology and saw a huge market potential, which led them to start the company. Jorge Briseno, Bill Feldott, Jeremy Mikus and Deborah Sanders also were involved in the initial project at the university. MedNoxa licensed the innovation through the Purdue Research Foundation Office of Technology Commercialization.
"There are 29 million diabetics in the U.S. and 12 to 25 percent of them, or roughly four million individuals, will suffer from ulcers on the feet and legs each year," Frey said. "For diabetics, seemingly minor scrapes and cuts can be very difficult to heal, and are likely to become ulcers as a result of a lack of oxygenation in the blood flow to extremities."
Frey said addressing acute wounds before they become chronic ulcers is an underserved market with limited solutions.
"For diabetics, there are limited options for preventative medical devices that can inhibit the formation of grade one ulcers from seemingly minor wounds or the degradation of grade one ulcers to grade two ulcers," he said. "Because of this, approximately 92,000 lower body extremity amputations are performed each year as a result of diabetic neuropathy caused foot ulcers. Current treatments cost an average of $25,000 annually and often show little to no improvement after 270 days of care."
MedNoxa's wound-healing device is designed to deliver localized oxygen directly to a wound to promote and accelerate healing in the form factor of a traditional bandage. The technology is designed to be used on everything from a cut, blister, or surgical incision, to ulcers and burns.
"By using a small amount of hydrogen peroxide, a chemical reaction generates oxygen and water. The oxygen flows through the bandage and into the wound," Frey said. "By adjusting the volume and flow rate of the hydrogen peroxide, we can effectively customize the bandage to a specific wound profile."
Frey said there are a few similar products on the market but they are not as convenient and affordable as MedNoxa's product.
"There are two primary competing bandage products as well as traditional solutions like hyperbaric chamber oxygen therapy. HBOT is really a complementary solution for the most extreme wounds so it's not applicable to everyone, and unlike HBOT, our solution could be worn when not in a chamber," he said. "Our solution generates oxygen on demand, in a variety of bandage sizes and oxygen flow rates and will be available as an affordable over-the-counter product as opposed to expensive, prescription-based solutions."
MedNoxa's primary initial market is diabetic patients in the United States, although the technology could be used in other markets.
"Our technology is not limited to just diabetic patients. We are actively examining other customer segments such as athletes and veterinary medicine. The product has several applications," Frey said. "Aside from healing wounds, our technology could even be used to generate breathable oxygen and could be used in emergency medical situations in adverse conditions, anything from remote construction or high altitude to combat situations. There's a huge range of applications, which is why we think this is such a unique product."
MedNoxa is seeking potential partnerships with pharmacies and medical device salespersons as well as funding to further product and company development.
"Over the next year, our four goals are to finish the product development, refine the manufacturing process for scalability, raise a round of funding and establish retail sales channels," Frey said. "We're eager to begin conversations with smaller local and regional pharmacies who will be our initial sales channel. Medical device salespersons, or pharmacy owners are the kind of people we plan to talk to."
For information on other Purdue intellectual property ready for licensing and commercialization, visit http://www.otc-prf.org. For more information about available leadership positions, investing in a Purdue startup or licensing a Purdue innovation, visit http://www.purduefoundry.com.
About MedNoxa LLC
MedNoxa is an early stage medical device company bringing effective and affordable over-the-counter oxygen based wound-healing devices to consumers that do not interrupt lifestyle or impede physical activity.
About Purdue Office of Technology Commercialization
The Purdue Office of Technology Commercialization operates one of the most comprehensive technology transfer programs among leading research universities in the U.S. Services provided by this office support the economic development initiatives of Purdue University and benefit the university's academic activities. The office is managed by the Purdue Research Foundation, which received the 2014 Incubator Network of the Year by the National Business Incubation Association for its work in entrepreneurship. For more information about funding and investment opportunities in startups based on a Purdue innovation, contact the Purdue Foundry at firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information on licensing a Purdue innovation, contact the Office of Technology Commercialization at email@example.com
Purdue Research Foundation contact: Hillary Henry, 765-588-3586, firstname.lastname@example.org
Source: Eric Frey, 661-301-8305 Eric.Frey@mednoxa.com