Waisman Biomanufacturing partners with Stratatech to develop skin substitute

Nov. 17, 2010
by Chris Barncard
University Communications

Stratatech Corp. said Tuesday it has received a $3.5 million federal innovation grant to expand development of its anti-infective living human skin substitute.

The privately held Madison company received the fast-track Small Business Innovation Research grant from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. Stratatech was one of just a few companies that received awards to develop therapies and diagnostic tools for drug-resistant bacteria with selected partners.

The company will partner with the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology, the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the Waisman Clinical Biomanufacturing Facility.

The grant will fund development work that will focus on the efficacy of a genetically modified living human skin substitute called ExpressGraftEnhance tissue in the prevention and disruption of biofilms. A biofilm is a community of bacteria growing in a matrix that adheres to a surface.

Biofilms inhibit wound healing and are highly resistant to antibiotic treatment. Biofilm dispersal is thought to play an important role in the aggravation and spread of disease. The National Institutes of Health estimates that biofilms play a role in 80% of human infectious disease. “Because of the initial work we’ve done on our ExpressGraftEnhance skin substitute tissue, we believe it can be a front line tool in fighting wound infection, improving skin graft take and advancing patient care,” said Lynn Allen-Hoffmann, Stratatech’s chief scientific officer and chief executive officer, in a statement.

The Waisman Clinical Biomanufacturing Facility – located at the Waisman Center – has a primary mission to provide GMP manufacturing services to serve researchers, clinicians and business ventures in the development of novel biological therapies for clinical trials.