RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK — Merakris Therapeutics, LLC, a Research Triangle Park regenerative medicine company developing wound-healing products for skin and eyes, has launched a new skin-graft alternative to help protect and heal wounds.

The company describes the product, Dermacyte Matrix, as “a crosslinked amniotic membrane allograft designed for cutaneous wound applications, commonly used by outpatient surgical, podiatry and dermatology clinics.”

Amniotic membrane allograft tissue is a thin slice of human amniotic tissue from the placenta, donated at the time of child delivery. It has been used for nearly a century in wound healing. A “crosslink” involves a bonding of differing types of matter.

Amnion tissue carries immunologic protection with minimal risk of rejection. These allografts have cellular components, combined with growth factors, that can adapt to, and repair, surrounding tissue.

CEO Chris Broderick

Merakris says Dermacyte confers physical protection of a wound while also promoting a healing environment. The company sells the tissue sheets in dehydrated or hydrated versions, providing as much as five years of shelf stability at room temperature.

The company also said its commercial launch of Dermacyte Matrix coincides with a valuable, unique federal product-code assignment for this topical skin graft substitute, so physicians who use it can be reimbursed under Medicare Part B.

“This is another milestone for Merakris Therapeutics that the largest healthcare payer, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, has recognized Dermacyte Matrix with a unique reimbursement code,” said CEO Chris Broderick.

“This strengthens our position with broader­ payer coverage for Dermacyte Matrix. We are dedicated to continued leadership in cell-free biologics and have aligned with academic institutions to support its product development and commercial operations while retaining full rights to our intellectual property.”

Merakris says it has developed a novel purification system yielding two kinds of amniotic biomolecules. One can promote early-stage healing of skin wounds, and the other promotes late-stage wound healing, called epithelialization and re-keratinization.

Merakris says it is developing a variety of regenerative health technologies for wound care, ophthalmology, pain management, and skin rejuvenation. These tissues are primarily derived from perinatal stem cells from donated umbilical cord blood and tissue, placental blood and tissue, and amniotic tissue and fluid.

(c) North Carolina Biotechnology Center