The Wound Care Learning Network had the opportunity to speak with Dustin Haines, chief commercial officer of Next Science, a medical technology company headquartered in Sydney, Australia, with a research and development center in Jacksonville, Florida.
The wound care products offered by Next Science target biofilm infections. A biofilm contains an amalgamation of microorganisms, bacteria, and fungi, and can significantly impact the wound healing process. But with biofilm being one of many negative factors seen routinely in wound care, why did the company decide to focus on addressing biofilm specifically?
Our company founder and CTO, Dr. Matthew Myntti, happened to be working on a non-wound care biofilm project for his employer at the time. As Dr. Myntti dove deeper into biofilm research, he realized the significant implications for wound care and that biofilm-based infections contribute to half a million U.S. deaths each year.
Dr. Myntti wanted to work on solutions that could potentially save lives while substantially reducing treatment costs. But because his employer didn’t have a wound care division, he eventually stepped out on his own, starting his own company, Next Science, in 2012.
Dr. Myntti and his research team developed a novel material science approach to address the challenges of biofilm. Next Science’s patented XBIO technology, which helps reduce biofilm-based infections in humans, now powers Next Science’s range of wound care and surgical products, including BlastX, SurgX, and Bactisure. We also have a brand new product, XPERIENCE, coming soon.
As noted on your website, biofilm bacteria are associated with roughly 80% of all global bacterial infections. On an annual basis in the United States, 17 million people are impacted by a biofilm-related infection, leading to approximately $94 billion in healthcare costs. In targeting biofilm directly, how might this lower the overall cost of treatment as a whole?
Biofilm-based infections have an enormous impact on healthcare economics, including the rise in antimicrobial resistance. Biofilm makes bacteria stronger and more resistant to antimicrobials, antibiotics, and the body’s own defenses. Our XBIO technology breaks down the biofilm structure to expose the encased bacteria.
What does that mean for treatment costs? For example, patients with surgical site infections (SSIs) are five times more likely to be readmitted to the hospital. That leads to one million additional inpatient days, and increases the average length of stay by 9.7 days.
By targeting and destroying biofilm, the body can more easily heal itself, resulting in better patient outcomes and lower treatment costs. Better patient outcomes may also, over time, reduce insurance and legal liability costs for healthcare providers.
Can you explain some of the notable attributes of your patented XBIO technology, which is found in all of the wound care products by Next Science? How does XBIO technology stand out from other products currently available?
XBIO takes a different approach than other products on the market, targeting the structure of the biofilm, deconstructing and breaking it apart, and defending from recolonization. Other solutions often only target free-floating planktonic bacteria and are ineffective against biofilm. XBIO has proven effectiveness against planktonic and biofilm bacteria, which is where 80% of human infections are located.
Without getting too technical, XBIO works by breaking apart the strong metallic bonds that hold together a biofilm’s extracellular polymeric substance. That exposes the bacteria located within the biofilm, making them more vulnerable to attack by antimicrobials, antibiotics, and the body’s natural immune defenses. In doing so, it also then helps reduce the rate of biofilm recurrence by more than 100 times.
There is no known resistance to Next Science’s XBIO technology. XBIO is also non-toxic and gentle on the body.
XBIO technology has been used to develop your products, including BlastX, SurgX, and Bactisure. What are the mechanisms and intended uses of each product?
BlastX is an antimicrobial wound gel for the management of wounds, such as diabetic foot ulcers and pressure ulcers/injuries. It is compatible with a broad range of advanced healing modalities, and it sets the stage for better preparation of the wound bed, and better ongoing care. A Mayo Clinic study found that over 12 weeks, patients using BlastX saw the size of their wounds reduce three times more than study participants who used a standard wound care product.
SurgX is a sterile antimicrobial gel designed to reduce surgical site and post-surgical infections. Once the product has been applied to the surgical wound, it is proven to provide broad spectrum and sustained effectiveness for up to five days. SurgX is designed to be a surgeon’s last line of defense against SSIs.
Bactisure is a surgical lavage that is used to remove debris, including microorganisms, from wounds using pulsed jet lavage. It’s a clear, colorless, low-odor solution for all wound types and it does not harm human tissue. Bactisure outperforms normal saline lavage and has been found to remove nearly twice as much bacteria as competitors.
Can you elaborate on the new product, XPERIENCE? When is it set to hit the market?
In September of last year, we announced to investors that Next Science was planning to launch XPERIENCE, a new surgical rinse, in the first half of 2021, pending FDA clearance. I cannot tell you much more than that at this stage, sorry, but it is a product we are excited about.
What else is in the pipeline for Next Science?
Our goal is to protect the patient from scalpel to suture, so we are always working on our pipeline and will continue to expand the company’s surgical portfolio.
Next Science’s XBIO technology has limitless potential to have a far-reaching, positive impact across all human health care. We expect to play a leading role in supporting the global drive to reduce the threat of antimicrobial resistance caused by biofilms.
We already have products across multiple market segments, including over-the-counter medications, prescription pharmaceuticals, medical devices, and hospital infection control.
In addition to creating products, Next Science is creating opportunities at a community level. Can you share a bit about the BlastX community donation program, including its product distribution to a New Jersey nursing facility and $300,000 donation to a Florida-based foundation for diabetes?
We have loved giving back to the community with our new donation program. So far, we have donated $600,000 worth of BlastX to support organizations that treat patients who are enduring chronic wounds.
In November, we donated $300,000 of product to Hampton Ridge Healthcare and Rehabilitation, one of New Jersey’s premier centers for skilled nursing and rehabilitative care. We also set up donation programs to help patients who were unable to receive treatment at wound care clinics that were closed because of COVID-19.
In December, we donated $300,000 worth of BlastX to The Save A Leg, Save A Life Foundation locally in Florida. The donation will support the foundation’s mission to reduce lower extremity amputations for diabetics. Dr. Desmond Bell and his team at Save A Leg are doing amazing work and we’re proud to partner with them to help patients enjoy a better quality of life.
If the audience has any questions regarding your products, how should they reach you?
They can give us a call at +1 855-564 2762 or email email@example.com.