June 18, 2008 - Derma Sciences said this week its key product, MEDIHONEY Wound and Burn Dressing with Active Leptospermum Honey, has been found in a large randomized controlled clinical trial to significantly reduce the presence of Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) in chronic wounds.
The finding was published in the June 2008 issue of The Journal of Wound Care.
MRSA continues to dominate global headlines as a formidable hospital-acquired infection, killing thousands of patients each year and becoming a huge burden on healthcare costs. The number of hospital admissions for MRSA has increased rapidly over the last decade, with a 300 percent increase in 2005 over that of 2000, and a 1,000 percent increase over that of 1995. Estimates suggest a global figure of up to 53 million people carrying MRSA. The bacteria is resistant to common antibiotics such as amethicillin, amoxicillin, penicillin, and oxacillin, and is quick to adapt to new ones.
The trial, a 108-patient randomized and controlled clinical trial, looked at venous leg ulcers that had been proven to be non-healing under standard treatment (compression therapy). In the study, half the patients had a common advanced wound care gel added to the standard treatment, and half had Comvita's Active Leptospermum (Manuka) Honey (now marketed under the brand name MEDIHONEY) added. After four weeks, 70 percent of the MEDIHONEY treated wounds versus only 16 percent of the hydrogel treated wounds had MRSA eradicated.
Published in this month's Journal of Wound Care, the research paper "Bacteriological Changes in Sloughy Venous Leg Ulcers Treated with Manuka Honey or Hydrogel: an RCT," was written by lead investigators Georgina T. Gethin and Seamus Cowman, both of the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland. They concluded that for sloughy venous ulcers, "the efficacy of honey in eliminating MRSA in such wounds is a positive finding that may have implications for wound management and infection control."
Wound care is a major healthcare market with an estimated value of $10 billion in 2007, and is predicted to grow to $12.5 billion in 2012. The global double-digit growth is being driven by several factors, including an aging population, the rise in the global incidence of diabetes and chronic vascular disorders, and a steady advancement in wound care technologies. The advanced wound care segment encompasses a wide range of disparate technologies that includes dressings and other devices. The three main categories for dressings are: Traditional wound care such as gauze, moist wound dressings designed to manage basic moisture issues, and active dressings that incorporate technologies with additional benefits such as antimicrobial activity. The active category is the fastest growing among the three. A recent market research report by Kalorama Information details the emergence of honey-based dressings as a growing sub-category within active dressings.