Novan announces $7.86 million contract for thermal burn therapy

Novan, Inc., a Durham, North Carolina-based company, recently announced that it received a $7.86 million contract from the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority to develop a therapy for severe thermal burns.

As part of the two year contract, Novan will evaluate nitric oxide, a molecule known to enhance wound healing, as a therapy for thermal burns. The contract is part of an effort by BARDA to develop medical products to protect safety and health during a nuclear or radiological emergency.

When a nuclear bomb or improvised nuclear device is detonated, the device produces intense heat, which could result in severe burns covering large portions of a patient's body. Severe thermal burns from a nuclear device often require specialized treatment, such as surgical intervention to remove burned tissue and apply skin grafts. Novan's product may be able to improve and speed up recovery after such procedures.

Novan developed a proprietary technology allowing for a stable source to deliver nitric oxide at therapeutic levels. The company will use the technology to develop and test a nitric oxide advanced healing ointment.

Under the terms of the contract, Novan will conduct proof-of-concept and nonclinical toxicology studies of the ointment to find out if it could be used to help burn injuries. The results could be helpful in developing products for use in mass casualty incidents.

BARDA also signed contracts with other companies to develop emergency medical countermeasures to treat acute radiation syndrome resulting from skin, gastrointestinal, lung and bone marrow injuries caused by damaging levels of radiation.