ITW Dr. Daniela Marino - Co-Founder CEO CUTISS
Skin is our larger tissue/organ with the function to protect us against all kinds of external threats. It’s an extraordinary system but very fragile at the same time.
Burn injuries are among the most devastating of all injuries and a major global public health crisis. Burns are the fourth most common type of trauma worldwide, following traffic accidents, falls, and interpersonal violence.
Every year over 11 million people, half of which are kids, all around the World are victims of fire and are burned severely enough to require urgent medical care and permanent attention. Every 3 seconds, someone worldwide is the victim of severe burns. Every year over 300 000 people die from fires and the consequence of severe burns.
Remarkable differences in burn outcomes can be observed between high-income and low/middle-income countries. The level of expertise of the medical staff specialized in the care of severely burned patients and the specific requirements of specialized hospitals or centres (most burn centres are situated in large cities and are inadequate for the high incidence of injuries) explains why low/middle-income countries can not offer the best care to their victims.
- Burns represent the fourth leading cause of unintentional injury death in the United States.
- Each year 1.4 million burn injuries occur in the United States, resulting in 54 000 hospitalizations.
- More than one million people suffer every year from moderate to severe burns in India.
Throughout their lives, survivors will suffer dramatic physical, psychological and social consequences.
Current medical offer
In case of skin severe burn injury, the patient needs a lot of skin and rapidly to avoid infection.
50 years ago, when a victim was burned over 40%, he/she was condemned to die. Hopefully, due to the progress of skin grafts, now expert specialized medical staff can save people with burns up to 90-95%.
A skin graft is a section of epidermis and dermis harvested from an unburned part of the body and reaffixed to a site where the skin has been removed or damaged. Skin grafts lack a blood supply of their own and must rely on the recipient bed for nutrients. If the burn has destroyed the vascular system, the graft could die and there is an infection risk.
The donor site must also be considered when contemplating a skin graft in wound reconstruction. The graft is often more painful than the recipient wound due to exposed dermal nerve endings and it could require several operations for large burns. These operations are very difficult for the patients.
If the severe burn concerns more than 90% of the victim's skin, the skin graft is nearly impossible due to the lack of un-burned zones to take off for the grafts.
For those affected nothing is like before. Indeed, even if skin grafts save lives, unfortunately, there are far way from being a perfect solution. Patients suffer from chronic pain and have to undergo regular surgeries. Deep wounds heal badly and develop into large, permanent, disfiguring scars that need follow-up surgeries. The patient’s skin will be covered with large scars inducing not only psychological and social damages (studies show that people with significant visible scars are seen as less likeable and less intelligent, which makes it difficult for burn victims to find jobs) but also physical disabilities. Indeed, the large scar zones are rigid and limit movement. These rigid skin zones are also painful during movement.
From just a small piece of healthy skin from an un-burned zone, the size of a postage stamp, the skin cells are harvested, expanded and then combined in an hydrogel to produce a living skin - called DenovoSkin - ready to be transported to the operating room where the surgeon can transplant it on the injured areas.
All the process is fully automated and performed by the machine called DenovoCast - invented by CUTISS !
DenovoSkin is of course not rejected as it is made from the patient’s own cells. DenovoSkin will dramatically improve patient quality of life by minimizing scarring and reducing the number of follow-up surgeries and hospitalization time.
CUTISS leads three Clinical-Trials.
The ambition of CUTISS is to democratize to all hospitals and clinics the care of severely burned patients, not only in high income countries but also in low/middle income ones where the need is HUGE!
The market for CUTISS is $2 billion for severe burns – this is in Europe and the United States alone.
In this new episode of Epistémê Entrepreneur, discover the amazing story of a real Wonder Wonder: Dr. Daniela Marino.
Discover how Dr. Marino with her devoted team have built CUTISS from scratch a biotech/med tech company that will change the face of medicine.
Dr. Marino holds a master's in Biotechnology from the University of Milan, then she joined the ETH Swiss Federal Institute of Technology and then the University in Zurich where she followed her doctoral and post-doctoral research in stem cells and skin biology.
Founded in 2017, CUTISS is a spin-off of the University of Zurich, a revolutionary deep tech company backed by more than 15 years of Academic research and by 50 million euros from private investors and public organizations.
This Q2 2022, CUTISS is now expanding in France with the opening of CUTISS Innovation, an R&D centre based in Sophia-Antipolis, Europe’s leading technology park. The French region Provence-Alpes-Côte D'Azur backs CUTISS Innovation with a grant of EUR 300,000.
Dr. Daniela Marino Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/daniela-marino-3bb35a26/