Among the various complications of diabetes, foot ulcers are one of the most common and most aggravating. So it comes as good news that a new report has shown a novel treatment for diabetic foot ulcers to be both safe and effective.
The key to the treatment is nitrous oxide. In people with diabetes, the body’s normal production of nitrous oxide is often impaired. According to Michael E. Edmonds, MD, lead author of the study, “Nitrous oxide plays a crucial role in maintaining the microvascular supply and infection control in the skin, and its absence in diabetes contributes to poor ulcer healing.” The treatment is a wound dressing called EDX110 that was developed by Edixomed, a biopharmaceutical company based in Edinburgh, Scotland. EDX110 works by producing a sustained release of nitrous oxide. The researchers conducted a randomized clinical trial of 135 patients in 10 hospitals in the United Kingdom with foot ulcer clinics. One group of patients was given EDX110 and told to change the dressing every 48 hours, while a control group was given traditional foot ulcer care.
At the end of the trial, it was found that 89 percent of the users of EDX110 had a reduction in the size of their foot ulcers compared to 47 percent of the control group. Also, in the EDX110 group, 45 percent of wounds were healed compared to 23 percent in the control group. When EDX110 was used, hospitalizations were significantly reduced, and the number of wounds that were completely healed increased by more than 50 percent in the EDX110 group.
The next step for Edixomed is to secure government approval for the clinical use of EDX110. The company hopes that the technology can eventually be used not only for diabetic foot ulcers, but also in the areas of surgical wound care, venous leg ulcers, pressure ulcers, burns, septic shock, pneumonia, cystic fibrosis, and in other conditions related to antimicrobial resistance.