Encelle, a developer of products for tissue regeneration, has received a $1.7 million grant to speed up development of a possible treatment of diabetic foot wounds.

The grant is from the National Institutes of Health.

Encelle already has won patent coverage for its injectable biopolymer technology.

Encelle calls the treatment E-Matrix. It is an injectable biopolymer than has shown promise in animal studies to promote healing of skin wounds.

“The new grant helps Encelle advance E-Matrix into clinical development, commercial-scale production and molecular mechanism-of-action studies,” the company said in a statement.

Encelle already has launched a controlled pilot clinical study for treatment of diabetic foot ulcers. Patients who suffer from chronic ulcers are being tested at 10 sites across the country. Encelle said it expects patient enrollment to be finished by August.

Smith & Nephew is providing funding for that study and has secured a license for E-Matrix.

Encelle closed on $4 million in venture capital last September and is in the process of securing a fourth round of funding of some $5 million, according to the company.

Among its investors are Intersouth and the North Carolina Enterprise Fund.

Encelle: www.encelle.com