Garwood Medical raises $2M for connected wound healing system

By Heather Mack
03:48 pm
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Garwood Medical, which has filed a patent application for a wound healing system, has raised $2 million in Series A funding, according to an SEC filing. The investors were undisclosed. The company also tweeted to MobiHealthNews that they will be closing on another $1 million next week.

In July, the company recently received a contract with the Buffalo Institute for Genomics and Data Analytics, and is developing a new class of electrical stimulation devices with integrated sensor and communications technologies to enable treatment for chronic wound healing, bone growth and peri-prosthetic infections, according to the University of Buffalo’s website.

Through the relationship with the University of Buffalo, Garwood will get $1.48 million in technology and resource support to develop its products, and Garwood will create 40 jobs in return. Additionally, the public-private partnership will create a licensed University of Buffalo intellectual property royalty stream. Most of the technical work is being done by university researchers under Edward Furlani, who holds joint appointments in UB’s departments of chemical and biological engineering, and the department of electrical engineering. It's unclear whether the $1.48 million is part of the $2 million in the SEC filing.

“We are very excited to have established a unique relationship with the University at Buffalo, licensing their valuable patented technologies and collaborating with an interdisciplinary team of six UB professors to bring our novel devices to market,” Garwood CEO Wayne Bacon said in a statement to the Buffalo Institute for Genomics. “Together, we seek to save the health care system in the US and abroad a large portion of the staggering cost spent on wound healing and implant infections, while simultaneously greatly reducing patient pain and suffering.”

Garwood has three patents licensed exclusively from the university and three more developed independently, according to Buffalo Business First. The core technology can sense infections and transmit that data to both doctors and to a bioinformatics software package.

Garwood, which was founded in 2014 by Wayne Bacon and previously operated under the name Enermed, filed an application for a patent in September 2015 for a wound healing system. The patent application, published in July, describes a programmable, electrical bandage embedded with electrodes to send pulses that reach the skin, with the goal of stimulating healing.

Garwood’s patent application describes a method for sending the pulsed electric currents to the bandage via an RF transceiver, which can be provided with a mobile device and allow for remote, wireless monitoring of the wound. The transceiver offers continuous information exchange between the wound care bandage and the portable mobile device, such that the output electric pulses can be monitored and adjusted.

In summary, the application states, “The wound care bandage has a bandage layer in which a pad is disposed for absorbing bodily fluids, and has at least two snap button electrodes. The snap button electrodes provide current that passes across the wound of the patient to accelerate healing of the wound. Not only does the wound care bandage ensure the comfort of the patient, but the wound care bandage also allows for improved patient freedoms as well as simplifying the administration of the treatment by trained personnel and heath care providers.”

When someone suffers an injury or has surgery that creates a wound, getting that wound closed and healed is critical. However, some 6.5 million Americans have chronic wounds due to conditions that cause slow-healing such a diabetes or simply old age. 

As the patent application states, “healing wounds has long been problematic for a plurality of reasons. For example, some wounds are difficult to heal because of the physical condition of the patient or the nature of the wound. In addition, some wounds simply refuse to heal even when the patient is under the care of skilled health care professionals. Other wounds are such that antibiotics, negative pressure therapy and wet therapy have no impact on healing the wound.”

While the patent application acknowledges a few existing techniques that make use of electrical currents that flow across the wound, they require several pieces of equipment that often require the patient to remain tethered to, plus separate bandages that protect the wound and keep it clean. Moreover, patients don’t always follow through with these treatments, the application states.

“What is needed is a new and improved way to treat wounds such that they heal faster while at the same time the amount of equipment required for the treatment is small and easy to use, and eliminates or reduces the problems associated with the devices currently in use,” it says.

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