Healthcare Industry News: Diabetic Foot Ulcer
News Release - February 11, 2008
Organogenesis Debuts Educational Campaign for Sufferers of Chronic Leg and Foot UlcersCompany Launches First-Ever Direct-To-Consumer Campaign of a Living Cell-Based Therapy
CANTON, Mass., Feb. 11 (HSMN NewsFeed) -- Organogenesis, Inc., the first company to successfully mass-produce living regenerative medicine products, is again breaking new ground by launching the first-ever direct-to-consumer (DTC) educational campaign for a living cell-based therapy. As the first bio-engineered living cell therapy to have received FDA approval, Apligraf® has been used successfully by doctors in treating hundreds of thousands of patients with Diabetic Foot Ulcers (DFUs) and venous leg ulcers (VLUs) in the U.S. and around the world.
Direct-to-consumer ads are appearing in publications targeting diabetics and others prone to chronic venous leg ulcers and Diabetic Foot Ulcers. The campaign will highlight the medical advances that have resulted in bio-active wound products like Apligraf, which is designed to "kick start" the body's natural healing process in these hard-to-heal wounds.
Organogenesis' comprehensive direct-to-consumer campaign also includes the launch of a new consumer educational web site, http://www.Apligraf.com, internet marketing, educational materials for patients and point-of-purchase features. The print ad can be viewed online at http://www.apligraf.com/offsite/pdf/apligraf_ad.pdf.
The campaign will focus on contrasting traditional wound care treatments, such as ointments and gauze dressings, versus living cell-based therapies, the latest innovation in wound healing. The majority of DFU and VLU patients are being treated with traditional and often ineffective wound care therapies for these severe and chronic wounds, and most are still unaware of the advanced treatment options.
"Non-healing wounds are common with diabetics and people with circulatory problems. They can last many years and can have a terrible impact on quality of life," said Christopher Snyder, D.O, St. Francis Multi-specialty Group, Los Angeles, CA. "Additionally, unhealed Diabetic Foot Ulcers can result in infection, hospitalization and sometimes even amputations."
Dr. Snyder is one of many physicians around the world who have been utilizing Apligraf to treat chronic wounds after traditional therapies have failed. As the medical director of the St. Francis Hospital Wound Care Center in Los Angeles, Dr. Snyder has treated a number of patients with Apligraf for chronic, non-healing wounds.
"Conventional wound care, consisting of infection control, cleaning, and keeping pressure off the wound and other such basic approaches, can often close these wounds," noted Dr. Snyder. "However, a large portion of these chronic wounds fail to heal, and a more active approach is needed."
Venous leg ulcers and Diabetic Foot Ulcers are among the most frequently occurring chronic wounds, affecting nearly two million people every year in the U.S. Up to 12 percent of diabetics have a history of foot ulcers, and 85 percent of lower-limb amputations among diabetic patients are preceded by DFUs.
More than 600,000 new cases of venous leg ulcers are reported annually, many among diabetics.
In creating its DTC ads, Organogenesis conducted extensive market research,
including a survey of patients, caregivers and wound care nurses. The survey found that patients often view their wounds with greater concern than their other major co-morbidities, including high blood pressure and diabetes. The company's survey results are consistent with a 2002 survey by the American Diabetes Association, which revealed that one out of every two Americans with diabetes has never heard of or knows little about Diabetic Foot Ulcers.
"Our research showed that, unfortunately, many of these patients are also unaware of advanced treatment options," said Stephen Farrell, vice president of marketing for Organogenesis, Inc. "These non-healing wounds cause patients to become disheartened due to the discomfort, maintenance problems, stigma and limitations on mobility that often result, not to mention their worries about the possibility of amputation."
"Over the years I had seen many different doctors and none of the treatments healed the wound," said Verneice Burton, an 80-year-old patient of Dr. Snyder who suffered from a chronic venous leg ulcer for 44 years. "Because of the wound, it was difficult for me to do things that I loved, like go to family events or to church. For all of those years, I did not know that there was something available to help people like me." Mrs. Burton was treated in August 2007 with Apligraf, which successfully healed her chronic wound.
"My life has changed in so many ways in the past few months," continued Mrs. Burton. "I took my first plane trip in 20 years, the wound is healed and it is much easier for me to leave the house."
Like human skin, Apligraf contains two layers of living cells: an outer (or epidermal) layer of protective skin cells, and an inner (or dermal) layer of cells that produce more than 40 substances such as cytokines and growth factors that are important for healing. When placed on a wound previously unresponsive to treatment, Apligraf integrates into the wound, thus helping it heal. Apligraf has been used in over 200,000 patients with an excellent safety profile, and is covered extensively by Medicare, Medicaid and by 350 private payers.
About Regenerative Medicine
A new frontier in healthcare, regenerative medicine is an evolving therapeutic approach that utilizes living cells to repair or replace body tissue damaged by injury, disease or the aging process. It is a multidisciplinary field involving biology, medicine and engineering.
Regenerative therapies rely on the body's own natural ability to repair and regenerate, and enable the body to heal itself. Regenerative medicine also empowers scientists to grow living cells, tissues and organs in the laboratory, and to safely implant them into the human body for the purposes of healing.
About Organogenesis, Inc.
Massachusetts based Organogenesis, Inc. is the world's most successful regenerative medicine company and is focused in areas of bio-active wound healing, bio-surgery and bio-aesthetics. Organogenesis delivers living tissue "on demand," and its mission is to bring the medical marvel of regenerative medicine products to patients and to standardize their use in everyday medical care. For more information, visit http://www.organogenesis.com.
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