ReCell saves skin, reduces treatment costs for burn victims
Regenerative medicine company AVITA Medical has conducted a pivotal clinical trial demonstrating the effectiveness of its ReCell Autologous Cell Harvesting Device in the treatment of deep partial-thickness (second-degree) burns, the results of which were presented at the American Burn Association (ABA) 50th Annual Meeting this week.
ReCell is an investigational medical device that is designed to enable medical professionals to produce, at the point of care, a Regenerative Epidermal Suspension (RES) using a small sample of the patient’s own skin. The autologous suspension contains cells necessary to regenerate epidermis and provides a new way to achieve permanent closure in burns and other wounds while reducing the amount of skin harvested at the time of surgery.
The ReCell trial was conducted at 12 US burn centres, with the results presented by Dr William Hickerson from the Firefighter Burn Center and University of Tennessee Health Science Center. The trial evaluated 101 adult patients with thermal, partial-thickness burns covering 1–20% of their total body surface area (TBSA). Patients served as their own control and two comparable burn sites were selected for comparative testing on each patient. One burn site was treated with the ReCell device, while the other was treated with a standard 2:1 meshed autograft.
During the trial, the patient donor skin harvested to treat burn sites with the ReCell device was 97.5% less than the amount harvested to treat burn sites with the standard of care. Furthermore, burn sites treated with the device achieved definitive closure comparable to the burn sites treated with standard of care. Clinical benefits of the reduction in donor skin included:
- significantly less donor-site pain
- significantly higher patient satisfaction with donor-site appearance
- significantly better donor-site scarring results
- significantly greater incidence of donor-site healing at two weeks.
In addition to the clinical trial, Dr Kevin Foster of the Arizona Burn Center presented a health economic model which found that the ReCell device reduced total treatment costs compared to the standard of care, particularly for large burns and burns initially of indeterminate depth. The hospital-perspective cost-effectiveness model predicted how the ReCell device would modify treatment for patients with burns ranging from 10–40% TBSA.
The model determined that treatment with ReCell for deep partial-thickness burns reduced total costs by an average of 33%, or approximately $33,000, for patients with 10% TBSA and 44% ($203,000) for patients with 40% TBSA. For full-thickness burns, treatment with the ReCell device reduced costs by 7% ($11,000) for patients with 10% TBSA and by 20% ($154,000) for patients with 40% TBSA. The cost reductions are due to decreasing the length of hospital stay, the number of procedures required to close the burn wound, the donor site size and associated wound care, and number of downstream contracture release procedures.
An accompanying budget impact model evaluated the overall cost impact to burn centres, calculating the annual budget impact of current burn treatment versus treatment with the ReCell device for a burn centre with 200 patients. The model determined that the ReCell device would reduce annual total treatment costs from $43.3 million to $30.3 million, saving 30% ($13 million).
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