Researchers are currently conducting the third phase of a drug that could heal old wounds, even if they happened decades ago. The new gene therapy has had some fantastic results in children suffering from a rare blistering skin disease, New Atlas reports. Additionally, the gel was even seen to heal open wounds that were years old.
Reports of the success of the gel have been published in The New England Journal of Medicine, and they show that after three months, 71 percent of the patients receiving the active gel were completely healed, even when it was applied to heal old wounds.
The new therapy gel delivers copies of the COL7A1 gene directly to the wounded tissue. According to the researcher’s theories, the gel should heal old wounds by triggering the production of key collagen proteins. These proteins are needed for the skin to heal, and by directly triggering it, it should force the skin into recovery mode.
The scientists made the gel by modifying the herpes virus into something that can’t replicate and spread to other body parts. However, the virus can evade the body’s immune defenses, allowing it to work uninterrupted. It’s an intriguing proposition for how to heal old wounds and wounds that are newer as well.
One of the patients who saw great success with gene therapy has suffered from open wounds his entire life. However, within months of using the new therapy gel, 22-year-old Vincenzo Mascoli was healed of all the open wounds.
The only downside here is that the gene therapy that can heal old wounds isn’t permanent. As such, many of the patients who saw success saw those old wounds returning in the months following the trial. However, because there were no adverse effects noticed when using the gel repeatedly, it shouldn’t be bad for patients to use it for ongoing periods of time.
This isn’t the first time we’ve seen scientists using topical gels to treat things, either. Previously we saw researchers create a gel that can kill skin cancer. And, with gene therapy seeing even more use, we could finally see some big medical breakthroughs coming our way.
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