EB research is expanding significantly and significant steps are being made in the journey for a treatment and cure. From investigating wound healing and pain management to finding and fixing genes and proteins that affect EB. Here are some recent stories:
- Breakthrough in skin reconstruction
Michele De Luca and colleagues reconstructed skin covering approx. 80% of the total body surface area of a seven year old with junctional EB. Skin cells were taken from a non-blistering area on the patient’s body, genetically modified to contain the corrected gene, grown into grafts in the lab and transplanted back onto the patient. During the 21 month period following the study, the transplanted skin remained robust and did not blister.
- Wound Healing
Over the next three years, DEBRA is entering into a new project investigating the role of certain components of the skin in wound healing and why they act differently in the skin of a person with EB. It is hoped that this research will yield promising results in the understanding of wound healing.
- Wenxin Wang and UCD Charles Institute UCD Charles Institute of Dermatology will be working in collaboration with Amryt Pharma in the development of a topical therapy to treat patients with recessive dystrophic epidermolysis bullosa (RDEB). The gel carries the gene into the skin cells and then breaks down releasing the gene so the patient’s own cells can use it to make collagen. DEBRA has supported Professor Wenxin Wang and his team including Dr Lara Cutlar and Dr Dhezong Zou in their research of this technology.