Nova Scotia biomedical technology aims to improve wound healing

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Halifax-based DeCell Technologies Inc. has come up with a better way to produce skin grafts for wound treatment.   With an equity investment from Innovacorp, Nova Scotia's early-stage venture capital organization, DeCell will complete the development and human testing of its first product for the treatment of diabetic foot ulcers.   "It's exciting to see a health-care technology from Nova Scotia that can address a medical problem for people around the world," said Economic and Rural Development and Tourism Minister Michel Samson. "Innovative small businesses like this one are vital to growing Nova Scotia's economy."   The $250,000 seed investment from Innovacorp will finance DeCell's next phase of product development and validation.   "Our current focus is to address the unmet need of treating chronic foot ulcers, a common ailment of diabetics that can take months to heal, is prone to infection, and can lead to amputation," said Paul Gratzer, DeCell co-founder and president. "However, our platform technology can also provide healing solutions for other chronic wounds, burns, and surgical reconstructions."   DeCell's technology uses donated human skin to produce a biological dressing that is free of bacteria and viruses, has no chance of being rejected by the patient, and actively promotes tissue regeneration when applied to the wound.   The company's early studies indicate that its first product, DermGen, offers improved healing with fewer complications and at a reduced cost compared to other competitive products currently in use.   DeCell was co-founded in 2012 by Mr. Gratzer, a biomedical engineer at Dalhousie University, and vice-president Sean Margueratt, an engineer with extensive experience in tissue banking. Steve Arless, a seasoned medtech entrepreneur, has been mentoring the company and will join its board of directors.   The company is based at the Innovacorp Enterprise Centre, an incubation facility for life sciences and clean technology companies located on Dalhousie's campus.   "The global market for regenerative medicine is large and growing," said Michael Dennis, investment manager at Innovacorp. "DeCell has developed unique technology that can provide fast, safe and effective wound healing solutions, and we're happy to play a role in bringing this innovation to the marketplace."   For more information, visit http://innovacorp.ca .

Organizations: Innovacorp Enterprise Centre, DeCell Technologies, Dalhousie University

Geographic location: Nova Scotia

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