GliaMed’s RILs are first being developed as a topical treatment for wound healing. The company has initiated IND-enabling studies of its lead compound for wound healing, including laser skin resurfacing and oral mucositis, and is evaluating strategies for follow-on studies, including treatment of androgenetic alopecia, actinic keratosis and diabetic foot ulcer. The company has also generated research data supporting the development of RILs in patients who have suffered a heart attack, stroke or damage to cartilage or bone.

Wound healing is the body’s natural process of regenerating and repairing dermal and epidermal tissue. This healing occurs with a combination of both regeneration and repair. Repair results in a patch of tissue that has neither the function nor the esthetic of the original tissue. The purpose of the patch, or scar, is to allow the surrounding, undamaged tissue to function as normally as possible. The scar forms through the recruitment of scaffold forming cells called fibrocytes and fibroblasts, and deposition of collagen. In contrast, regeneration allows a restoration of both the form and the function of the original tissue.

GliaMed has discovered that treating wounds with RILs tips the body’s healing system toward regeneration, resulting in a remarkable reformation of normal tissue at sites of damage. In animal studies, RIL-treated full-thickness wounds have been shown to fully heal and develop all the complex skin structures, including nerves, hair follicles, sweat glands, dermis and epidermis, in less than half the time of untreated wounds.

In addition to the expected benefits of accelerated wound closure and reduced risk of infection, GliaMed’s topical RIL product has the potential to reduce or eliminate scarring, which can cause significant loss of function in patients who have recovered from extensive burns, whether from thermal, radiation or chemical sources. GliaMed is advancing its lead product candidate into clinical trials in laser skin resurfacing and oral mucositis, and is exploring other indications such as androgenetic alopecia, actinic keratosis and diabetic foot ulcer.