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MUSC Spin-Off Company to Test Regenerative Wound Healing Gel
Date:2/1/2008

CHARLESTOWN, S.C., Feb. 1 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- First-String Research, Inc. (FSR), a spin-off biotechnology company from the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC), has begun the human clinical trial process for its unique, wound-healing peptide gel. Already past the preliminary approval stages, the "First in Man" trial will take place in Switzerland thanks to the assertive attention of Swiss investors. Initial preclinical studies have suggested the gel's efficacy and safety in regenerating new tissue, instead of scar tissue, in order to heal wounds better and faster than any product currently on the market.

In the clinical trial, four different doses of the gel will be administered to study participants with deep wounds. Those wounds will be examined periodically, and positive results from the study could put FSR's wound-healing gel one step closer to FDA approval. Currently, there are no mechanistically-based products approved by the FDA that can reduce or eliminate scarring and promote wound regeneration. "We have received an enormous amount of positive feedback from the investment community at large, including industry experts who were astonished at what we were able to achieve with such little funding," said Gautam Ghatnekar, Ph.D., FSR President and co-inventor of the gel peptide. "This product truly marks a paradigm shift from healing with a disfiguring scar to encouraging normal tissue regeneration."

It was in the lab of Robert Gourdie, Ph.D., MUSC professor of cell biology and Clemson professor of bioengineering, that the original peptide was created. Now on the FSR board of directors, Gourdie remains excited about the potential of technology he co-invented with Ghatnekar. "This peptide has tremendous potential in all body situations that involve healing because it regulates and modifies intercellular communication at the site of the wound," he said.

Since the company began a few years ago, FSR has been pleasantly
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SOURCE MEDICAL UNIVERSITY OF SOUTH CAROLINA
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