The Department of Surgery at The University of Arizona College of Medicine and OmegaGenesis, Inc., announced an agreement to collaborate on potential remedies to address diabetic foot ulcers.
The agreement includes joint work in support of potential remedies and to identify effective ways to provide information and education to medical professionals and patients globally.
Diabetic foot ulcers are painful, open sores that develop on the feet of people with diabetes. If not diagnosed and treated promptly, diabetic foot ulcers can cause extensive damage to soft-tissue and bone that may necessitate amputation.
"This is a global problem that is profoundly affecting millions of people in the United States and throughout the world," said Dr. David Armstrong, University of Arizona (UA) professor of surgery and the director of the University's Southern Arizona Limb Salvage Alliance (SALSA). "The problem is especially challenging in the developing world, where education and a remedy can have a significant impact."
Estimates indicate people with diabetes have about a 25-percent lifetime risk for developing a foot ulcer; half of these ulcers become infected. Of these, 1 in 4 will undergo amputation, and one amputation is performed every 30 seconds around the world.
The UA Department of Surgery, Dr. Armstrong and Dr. Horacio Rilo, also a UA professor of surgery, have established a new laboratory and are conducting research in the areas of diabetes and prevention of limb amputations resulting from diabetic ulcers. Dr. Rilo also is director of cellular transplantation and co-director of the Arizona Diabetes Center at the UA.
The UA is collaborating with OmegaGenesis to address common goals in testing remedies to address foot ulcers, providing education and in reducing amputations related to foot ulcers.
"We are honored to be working with Dr. Armstrong, Dr. Rilo and their team at The University of Arizona's Southern Arizona Limb Salvage Alliance," said Oostur Raza, CEO, OmegaGenesis. "Through this collaboration we hope to reduce the number of amputations that result from diabetic foot ulcers by increasing education in developing countries and bringing treatments that will address this global problem to market quickly."
OmegaGenesis is a biotechnology company that is developing innovative therapeutic angiogenesis applications based on its nano materials technology. The company is developing a treatment for diabetic foot ulcers based on novel nano materials that promote the growth of new blood vessels.
The joint agreement outlines three areas of potential study and work:
- Information - Publication of information to the medical community worldwide in support of preventing amputations and developing a cure for diabetic foot ulcers. As the work progresses, the UA and OmegaGenesis will publish technical and medical information from joint research and testing work.
- Education - Creation of a consumer guide for diabetic foot ulcer care and amputation prevention for people in developing nations. For medical professionals, joint programs and seminars to educate the medical community in preventing amputations and promoting a cure for diabetic foot ulcers.
- Pilot Testing - The new UA lab provides a state-of-the-art facility to OmegaGenesis for performing pilot testing of its new diabetic foot ulcer products being developed. OmegaGenesis also may work with the UA researchers to prepare FDA actions for pre-clinical and clinical trials. These efforts will support the FDA submission for diabetic foot ulcer prevention and therapeutic drugs developed by OmegaGenesis.