Chemical-free wound coverings made of naturally-derived biopolymers that can completely treat leishmaniosis lesions
Development Stage: Clinical trials finished and ready for industrial production
Industry: Orphan drug
Leishmaniasis is a disease caused by an intracellular protozoan parasite (genus Leishmania) transmitted by the bite of a female phlebotomine sandfly. There are several different forms of leishmaniasis the most common of which are cutaneous leishmaniasis, which causes skin sores, and visceral leishmaniasis, which affects several internal organs (usually spleen, liver, and bone marrow).
The disease, also known as Aleppo boil, is caused by a parasite in the bloodstream and transmitted through the bite of the sandfly. It provokes disfiguring lesions on the body, which are liable to a secondary infection. Cutaneous leishmaniasis is the most common form of the disease. It usually produces ulcers on the exposed parts of the body, such as the face, arms, and legs. There may be a large number of lesions – sometimes up to 200 – which can cause serious disability. When the ulcers heal, they invariably leave permanent scars. Leishmaniasis is found in people in focal areas of approximately 90 countries in the tropics, subtropics, and southern Europe. The ecologic settings range from rain forests to deserts. Leishmaniasis usually is more common in rural than in urban areas, but it is found in the outskirts of some cities. Climate and other environmental changes have the potential to expand the geographic range of the sand fly vectors and the areas in the world where leishmaniasis is found. Leishmaniasis is found in people on every continent except Australia and Antarctica. The most common current treatments involve injecting chemical drugs to the ulcer site which is often accompanied by side effects and severe pain.