Published at Retail Investor 360: Monday, 28 July 2014 20:02 by Doctor Hung V. Tran, MD, MS
Disclosure: I am long on MNKD.
Due to its capacity to self-renew and give rise to cells of various lineage, mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) have generated a great amount of enthusiasm over the past decade as a novel therapeutic paradigm for a variety of diseases. The leading, integrated stem cell company Osiris Therapeutics (NASDAQ:OSIR) thus indeed has captured and gained a significant impact in this unique market since infancy with its capabilities in groundbreaking research, development, manufacturing, marketing and distribution of stem cell products to treat unmet medical conditions in orthopedic, sport medicine and specifically wound care markets.
Source: Stem Cell
Giving the diabetes mellitus market is growing at a rapid rate globally; roughly 25 million or 8.3% of the U.S. population suffer from this condition. With its FDA approved super rapid acting insulin, Afrezza, that could mimic the actions of healthy pancreas, Mannkind Corporation (NASDAQ: MNKD) is already positioned it self to become the new leader in this huge insulin market. Diabetic complications such as diabetic foot ulceration, infection, and gangrene are significant complications and the leading causes of hospitalization in patients with diabetes mellitus. We believed that Afrezza's disruptive technology to deliver Technosphere insulin via a small whistle-like device Dreamboat enabling patient's with convenience, ease of use, hence, removing barriers leading to the aforementioned complication. Regardless of Afrezza's superiority or any other potential drugs, a sizeable number of patients, not having access to care due to poverty, transportation, or rural setting would not be able to optimally control their blood sugar, thus, succumb to diabetes complications. These complications often precede lower-extremity amputation. Prompt and aggressive treatments of diabetic foot ulcers are essential to prevent exacerbation of the problem and eliminate the potential for amputation. Osiris, thus, successfully tapped into this market and established a new standard in diabetic wound care, as well as proven the tremendous impact of stem cell can have in medicine.
Key Factors Involved in the Development of Diabetic Foot Problems
Diabetic foot ulcer is among the most common complications of diabetes, accounting for as many as 20% of all hospitalizations in diabetic patients at an annual cost of $200 to $350 million. According to the American Diabetes Association (ADA), 15% of diabetic patients experience significant foot ulcer during their lifetime.
Approximately 71,000 lower-extremity amputations, often sequelae of uncontrolled infection, are performed each year on diabetic patients; this represents up to 70% of all nontraumatic amputations in the United States. Also, approximately 20% of diabetics will undergo additional surgery or amputation of a second limb within 12 months of the initial amputation.
The development of diabetic foot problems involved in three key factors: neuropathy (nerve damage), angiopathy (blood vessel disease) and ischemia (inadequate blood supply), and immunologic defects. These conditions frequently occur together and, thus, make diabetic patients more susceptible to certain types of infection and impair the patients’ ability to heal wounds adequately.
Neuropathic changes may affect motor nerve supply of small intrinsic muscles of the foot resulting in muscular imbalance, abnormal stresses on tissues and bones, and repetitive injuries. Diminished sensory perception causes an absence of pain and unawareness of minor injuries and ulceration.
Angiopathy and ischemia often resulted in atherosclerosis that progress more rapidly in diabetic patients. This defect can results in varying degrees of restriction of blood flow, poor circulation, and ultimately leading to skin breakdown and infection
With immunologic defects, diabetic patients have impaired phagocytosis and intracellular microbial function that may be related to low oxygen tissue levels. These defects, thus, lead diabetic patients susceptible to infections and delayed healing.
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