Robert Gourdie of the Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute stumbled upon a new and faster way to heal leg ulcers while researching the electrical signals that trigger heartbeats. He developed a peptide called ACT1 that heals wounds and, more notably, can heal venous leg ulcers twice as fast as the current methods.
Venous leg ulcers occur when there is too much pressure on leg veins. This causes the tissues to break down, which leads to painful open wounds that are difficult to heal, especially for the elderly.
As Tumotech notes, in a clinical trial testing the peptide, participants had ulcers the average size of 3.5 cm, which had been open for about 17 months. For the group using ACT1, 79 percent of ulcers closed after 12 weeks of application and compression bandage treatment. These results were 36 percent better than those using the standard treatment. None of the patients in the ACT1 group reported any side effects.
Next, FirstString Research will be holding phase 3 trials to get FDA approval for ACT1.