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U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

August 23, 2013: BARDA Contract Supports Evaluation of Therapy for Severe Thermal Burns

Date: August 23, 2013

Company: Novan Inc of Durham, N.C.

Contract amount: $7.86 million over two years

About the contract:

Under this contract, nitric oxide, a molecule known to enhance wound healing, will be evaluated as a therapy for severe thermal burns as part of an effort by BARDA to develop new medical products to protect health and safety during a radiological or nuclear emergency, such as the detonation of a nuclear device.

The detonation of a nuclear bomb or improvised nuclear device produces intense heat, potentially resulting in severe burns that can cover large portions of a patient’s body. Such thermal burns typically require specialized treatment, including surgical intervention to remove burned tissue and application of skin grafts to the resulting wound bed. Novan’s product could potentially help enhance and accelerate recovery following such procedures.

Novan developed a proprietary technology which creates a stable source to deliver nitric oxide and potentially control release of the molecule to achieve therapeutic levels. Novan will use the technology to manufacture and test a Nitric Oxide Advanced Healing (or NOAH) ointment.

Under this contract, the company will conduct nonclinical toxicology studies and proof-of-concept studies of NOAH ointment to determine if it could help treat burn injuries. The nitric oxide may promote the recovery of burn wound by preventing injury progression and facilitating the growth of new tissue. Such information also could be useful in developing products that will be easy to use if burn injuries occur as part of a mass casualty incident.

This contract is part of a broader BARDA effort to develop products for thermal burn injuries and for use in treating combined injuries following the detonation of an improvised nuclear device. This line of product development is the latest in BARDA’s portfolio of advanced research and development contracts for emergency medical countermeasures to treat acute radiation syndrome resulting from bone marrow, lung, gastrointestinal and skin injuries caused by damaging levels of radiation.