While chronically ischaemic tissues (e.g. diabetic foot ulcers, wounds resulting from limb ischaemia, burns) are constantly exposed to hypoxia, the primary stimulus for angiogenesis (i.e. formation of new blood vessels), they paradoxically appear to have a limited capacity to appropriately respond to hypoxic stress. The mechanism underlying the inadequate generation of compensatory angiogenesis, and subsequently a satisfactory wound healing response, seen in many chronic ischaemic conditions involves a blunting of the ability of cells to increase the expression of angiogenic factors (e.g. VEGF, angiopoietins) in response to prolonged hypoxic episodes. Exposing selected cell types to hypoxia in vitro, i.e. culturing cells under wound-simulating conditions, can stimulate production of angiogenic factor proteins. Controlled delivery of such complex, yet physiological, factor mixtures in vivo could thus provide a solution to overcoming the limited ability of ischaemic tissues to optimally switch on angiogenesis. This strategy therefore aims at overriding the habituated response of cells within an ischaemic tissue, restarting the regenerative process and driving it to completion.
In 2010 and 2011 our group reported on two strategies for delivering fibroblast-derived hypoxia-induced angiogenic signaling in vivo (Hadjipanayi et al. 2010;Hadjipanayi et al. 2011 under Publications). In 2012 we described a new injectable (i.e. minimally invasive) system for localised delivery of cell-free matrix carriers loaded with hypoxia-induced angiogenic factors (Hadjipanayi et al., 2012 under Publications). For translating this system into a therapy that can easily be used at the bed-side, we have identified peripheral blood cells (PBCs), as the ideal factor-providing canditates. In contrast to skin fibroblasts, which have to be obtained invasively through a biopsy, and need pre-expansion, PBCs are readily obtained in sufficient numbers. Also, as they are autologous, immunological/infectious adverse effects can be prevented.
EmaCure® is the first wound therapy employing Hypoxia Preconditioned Products (HYPPP®), autologous preparations of blood-derived wound healing factor proteins, bound within a matrix carrier. The EmaCure® therapy is prepared by conditioning PBCs under wound-simulating conditions (hypoxia, physiological temperature) outside the body (Extracorporeal Wound Simulation) for a defined period of time (typically 4 days). This approach provides a significant improvement over currently available systems for preparation of autologous blood-based compositions, such as platelet-rich plasma (PRP) gel, as it makes it possible to deliver hypoxia-induced (i.e. angiogenesis-targeting) factor mixtures of higher protein concentration and potency, rather than only the factors already present within cells (platelets) at the time of blood collection.
The EmaCure® therapy can be delivered in the form of wound dressings and injectable preparations, which are entirely cell-free. Since the protein factors are derived from patient autologous blood, this therapy is patient-specific. By using a personalised therapy, clinicians can then better target the wound healing process, as the growth factor requirements for an adequate wound healing response are known to show significant variablity between individuals. It will thus have significant utility both at the bed-side, as an angiogenic therapy in peripheral ischaemic tissue such as wounds, ulcers and burns, as well as pre-, intra- and post-operatively as angiogenic support for central ischaemic tissue, grafts, and engineered implants.
The EmaCure® wound therapy is being developed by a multi-disciplinary team of researchers, including cell biologists, engineers, clinicians and plastic surgeons, as well as specialists in translational therapy regulation. The network of collaborating institutions includes the Technical University Munich, Hochschule München, Bogenhausen Hospital Munich and University of Göttingen.
application on a one-step device for preparing and delivering the EmaCure therapy was first filed in February 2012 ((PCT/EP2013/051910;''Device based methods for localized delivery of cell-free
carriers with stress-induced cellular factors''). The patent was published in Aug 2013 (IPN: WO 2013/113821 A1) and finally granted in 2017.
Feb. 2017 B. Braun Melsungen AG develops EmaCure technology for clinical application
Sept. 2016 EmaCure presented at the DGPRÄC Congress in Kassel
March 2016 EmaCure wins Science4Life Award
Oct. 2015 EmaCure presented at the DGPRÄC Congress in Berlin
May 2015 EmaCure presented at the 60th PSRC Meeting in Seattle
Sept. 2014 EmaCure presented at the DGPRÄC / VDÄPC /ÖGPÄRC Congress in Munich
May 2014 EmaCure presented at the 3rd EURAPS Research Counsil Meeting in Ischia, winning award for best scientific work
March 2014 EmaCure is awarded the TUM IdeAward 2014 for best scientific idea with market potential
Nov. 2013 Prof.A.F.Schilling to present EmaCure at TUM-IAS, Scientists meet Scientists (20.11.13 at 13.15pm)
Oct. 2013 EmaCure presented at the 1st Wund-D.A.CH 3-country Congress in Friedrichshafen, winning the Prize for best scientific work (awarded to Mr P.Moog).
Aug. 2013 Publication of international patent application on a device for preparing and delivering the EmaCure therapy.
May 2013 Prof. A.F.Schilling and Dr E.Hadjipanayi are awarded the Innovation Prize for their work on the EmaCure therapy, at the German Symposium for Biotechnology (Deutsche Biotechnologietage) in Stuttgart
May 2013 EmaCure presented at the International Investigative Dermatology (IID) Congress 2013 in Edinburgh
April 2013 ESDR (European Society for Dermatological Research) Grant awarded to Mrs. A.T.Bauer for her participation in the IID (International Investigative Dermatology) Congress 2013 in Edinburgh.
March 2013 EmaCure presented at the 17th World Congress of the International Confederation for Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgery (IPRAS) in Santiago
Feb.2013 International patent (PCT) application filed on a device for preparing and delivering the EmaCure therapy
Nov. 2012 Scientists working on the EmaCure therapy receive Best Paper Award at the IPRAS-TA/10th IQUAM Congress and Consensus Conference in Athens
Sept. 2012 EmaCure presented at the 3rd World Congress of Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine (TERMIS) in Vienna