PuriCore gets clean bill of health

PuriCore, a developer of technology that mimics the body’s defensive system, has been cleared by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to market its wound cleaning system as a medical device.

FDA approval is a key milestone for the company – which has its European headquarters in Stafford and is listed on the London stock exchange – allowing it to launch the system commercially in the world’s biggest healthcare market.

Effective solution

The company’s VASHE system is said to produce an effective solution for wound cleansing and treating acute and chronic skin conditions. According to the global group, it is the first wound cleaning system of its kind that can produce a solution at the point of use by medical staff.

It is based on technology and devices developed by PuriCore that produce hypochlorous acid – a key chemical in the body’s natural defences – from the electrolysis of a saline solution.

Each system includes a combination of cells. These feature three concentric elements made from high-purity titanium and coated with specialised metals, where the inner rod and outer cylinder are separated by a ceramic diaphragm.

Earlier this year, the company pointed to results from a clinical study lasting several years conducted by OxfordUniversity, which it said showed a positive and observable improvements in healing rates, pain reduction and cleansing action. Hypochlorous acid is highly effective at killing pathogens such as bacteria, viruses and fungal spores, yet is safe and environmentally friendly.

Before entering the wound treatment market, PuriCore had focused on three core business areas.

One is the disinfection of heat-sensitive medical instruments – specifically endoscopes – which the company believes will be worth $1bn by 2009.

A second is food safety, especially the removal of pathogens and extensions of shelf-life in fresh produce in supermarkets (the company believes the US food safety market could be worth $350m by 2009).

Infectious pathogens

Its final focus is on dentistry – in particular the removal of microbial contaminants. The company also believes its technology has a part to play in the increasing global risk of infectious pathogens such as MRSA, e.coli and HIV.

PuriCore’s revenue for the year ending 31 December 2005 was $12.8m (6.9m), representing the placement of 950 systems, a 60 per cent increase on the previous year.

To consolidate its growth in 2005, the company floated at the end of last month, raising a total of 30m from the placing, and valuing it at 100m on admission.