EMERYVILLE, CA / PRNewswire — The National Necrotizing Fasciitis Foundation (NNFF) today announced the NNFF has named NeutroPhase®, a wound cleanser made by NovaBay® Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NYSE MKT: NBY), the official wound cleanser of the NNFF.
“For years, we at the NNFF could only offer emotional support to patients with this terrible disease and to their families,” said NNFF co-founder and executive director Jacqueline Roemmele. “But now, with NeutroPhase, we can offer real hope of an approach that can save lives and prevent patients from losing arms, legs and other body parts.”
The NNFF has already teamed up with NovaBay and NovaBay’s partners China Pioneer Pharma Holdings Ltd and Principle Business Enterprises (PBE) to offer NeutroPhase free of charge to patients with ‘flesh-eating’ disease, or necrotizing fasciitis. NovaBay has also signed distribution agreements with Shin-Poong Pharma in South Korea, the Biopharm Group in Egypt and the Middle East, and Alpha Pharma LLC in the Ukraine.
In addition, the NNFF connects patients and their families to doctors who have pioneered the use of NeutroPhase to treat the disease, such as Dr. John Crew, director of the Advanced Wound Care Center at Seton Medical Center in Daly City, Calif, and Dr. Anibal Gauto, Medical Director of the Wound Care Center at Eisenhower Medical Center in Rancho Mirage, Calif.
“Flesh-eating” disease, or necrotizing fasciitis (NF), is a rare disease in which bacteria get into the deeper layers of the skin through a simple cut or scrape. The body tries to fight the infection. But toxins from the bacteria and the reaction of the body’s own immune system together eat away tissue. Even with the aggressive standard treatment using antibiotics and surgery to cut away dead tissue, up to 20% of patients die. Most lose arms, legs or other body parts.
But in a breakthrough approach originally developed by Dr. John Crew, doctors also irrigate the wound with NeutroPhase, in combination with a common technique called negative pressure wound therapy. NeutroPhase (FDA cleared as a 510k medical device) is the only skin and wound cleanser to contain Neutrox, a patented and pure form of hypochlorous acid that contains no bleach impurities. HOCl is a natural compound produced by white blood cells as a first defense against microbial invaders. Lab tests show that, in solution, it not only kills bacteria, it also neutralizes the toxins that kill tissue.
Dr. Crew has now overseen the use of NeutroPhase in the care of more than two dozen NF patients, such as Lori Madsen, Jared Hamilton and Michael Meillon. None of the patients he treated has died. None has lost a limb or any body part. Dr. Crew has also described why the treatment works in journals like WOUNDS, and been featured in newspaper articles. His groundbreaking work has earned him a nomination for the Lister Legacy Prize, an award presented by the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh to recognize contributions in controlling infections, as well as invitations to speak around the country. “This approach is a dramatic improvement in the care of patients with ‘flesh-eating’ disease,” explained Dr. Crew. “I’m now devoting most of my time to getting out the word about this treatment to other doctors and hospitals.”
The Eisenhower Medical Center’s Dr. Anibal Gauto, himself a victim of the disease, has also successfully used NeutroPhase to treat patients, such as a casino employee named Fernando Davila. “Without the treatment, Mr. Davila would have had his leg, or maybe both legs amputated, or even lost his life,” said Dr. Gauto. “This approach has the potential to be really, really big.”
By naming NeutroPhase the official wound cleanser of the NNFF, Roemmele hopes to bring more attention to the successful results of doctors like Dr. Crew and Dr. Gauto. “We can now direct patients to a new, life-saving treatment—and to a growing number of doctors who are experienced at using the treatment,” she said.
ABOUT THE NATIONAL NECROTIZING FASCIITIS FOUNDATION
The National Necrotizing Fasciitis Foundation (NNFF) is a 501c3 non-profit organization established in 1997 by two survivors of the disease. Since that time, NNFF has evolved to become the world’s leading resource for information regarding necrotizing fasciitis, as well as repository of cases reported worldwide. Its mission is to educate for public awareness regarding recognition of symptoms and preventative measures; to advocate research; to offer resources; and to offer support for those affected by necrotizing fasciitis, so that it may help save lives. The two founders of the organization, Jacqueline A. Roemmele and Donna Batdorff, will soon release a second edition of their top-selling non-fiction book “Surviving the Flesh-eating Bacteria.”
Jacqueline Roemmele Executive Director National Necrotizing Fasciitis Foundation