April 10, 2009

Avotermin shows promise in reducing scars

The drug Avotermin has potential to reduce scarring and make skin feel more normal, say British scientists testing the synthetic cell-signaling agent.

If the drug continues to work and be approved it could be used in surgeries, following trauma and burns, from road traffic accidents to elective surgery and cosmetic procedures, said Mark Ferguson, a researcher at the University of Manchester.

Avotermin reduces redness and flattens the scar after being injected under the skin at the site of the wound, The Times of London reported Friday.

Avotermin is an artificial form of TGFbeta3, a cytokine signaling molecule that sends messages between cells.

Tests showed avotermin reduces scarring in fresh wounds and existing scars that were recut and then sewn up, Ferguson said.

Some people got a really dramatic effect, where the scar was almost imperceptible, Ferguson said.