IonMed has developed the BioWeld1 cold plasma system for the treatment of skin conditions, specifically acne.
Cold plasma (ionized gas, (<40 ºC) is a “cocktail” of charged particles, free radicals, UV radiation, and electric and magnetic fields. Academic and industrial research has demonstrated that such a cocktail may eliminate different bacteria, including antibiotic-resistant bacteria, accelerate coagulation and wound healing, and may kill cancer cells.
Treatment with cold plasma is noninvasive and does not damage the skin. A single treatment with cold plasma actually combines the mechanisms of different therapies.
The potential lies in the fact that cold plasma interacts with cells with the same mechanisms by which immune cells fight microorganisms and modulates cell-signaling processes. Plasma may kill antibiotic-resistant bacteria, including certain acne-resistant bacteria.
Stage: Business development; clinical trial in acne patients
Investors: The Trendlines Group and Generali Financial Holdings Fund
IP: One U.S. patent and several Chinese utility model patents; previously developed applications: surgical incision closure (CE cleared) and skin graft fixation
Acne is the most common skin condition, affecting nearly 90% of teenagers and 40% of adults worldwide. Between 40 to 50 million Americans suffer from acne. Over $3 billion is spent annually only on drug treatment only. Despite its prevalence, there has been substantial failure in treating acne (BCC Research, 2016).
Acne can lead to low self-esteem, depression, and permanent skin scarring. Millions of patients do not respond to currently available treatments, or suffer from significant side effects due to the treatments, causing them to search for an alternative therapy.
Current treatments include topical and oral antibiotics and retinoids (vitamin A derivatives). Antibiotics are not effective in patients with antibiotic resistant acne bacteria or whose acne involves an underlying biofilm. Retinoids (such as isotretinoin) have severe safety concerns (black box warnings). The patient population is highly motivated and has demonstrated willingness to self-pay for uninsured treatments.
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