The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has entered into a contract with Novan, a clinical-stage drug development company focused on topical delivery of nitric oxide, to advance the development of a nitric oxide-based therapy as a topical treatment for thermal burns.
The Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), an agency within the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response, awarded this contract. It is believed a mass casualty event caused by natural or intentional threats to public health could result in tens of thousands of burn patients, which would overwhelm the burn care infrastructure available in hospitals across the U.S.
BARDA will provide $7.8 million in funding over two years. The contract will support the pharmaceutical development of the Nitric Oxide Advanced Healing (NOAH) technology including formulation work, nonclinical toxicology and proof of concept studies in models of deep partial thickness and full thickness thermal injuries. This project is designed to enable the future clinical investigation of the medical countermeasure.
"The link between nitric oxide and the body's ability to heal is well established,” said Nathan Stasko, president of Novan. “The challenge is to create stable nitric oxide drugs that 'perform on command' and deliver a controlled, sustained dose that will supplement the body's ability to regenerate tissue. Our platform technology has allowed us to pursue the development of drugs intended to harness the healing power of nitric oxide with results extending beyond bioterrorism. We believe the NOAH technology creates a gateway into regenerative medicine and could lead to therapies that can help heal both acute and chronic wounds."