New Implantable Antibiotic Helps Leading Canadian Hospitals Save Lives and Money by Preventing Deadly and Costly Surgical Infections

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Theramed, a new Canadian player in the Medical Device industry has introduced a implantable 'local' antibiotic that dramatically reduces surgical infections, resulting in improved patient safety, reduced hospital costs, and decreased surgical wait times. This revolutionary approach to antibiotic delivery was introduced in Canada in mid-2008 with 35 Leading Canadian Hospitals now already actively using Collatamp G to help them prevent and treat Surgical Site Infections. To date, hundreds of Canadian patients undergoing abdominal, cardiac, vascular, orthopedic, and plastic surgery as well as with diabetic foot ulcers have benefited from Collatamp G.

Surgical site infections (SSIs) are devastating to patient safety and hospital budgets. SSIs double patients' risk of death and cost the Canadian healthcare system over $200 million, and 400,000 bed days annually. Now, a completely new approach to antibiotic delivery - a new dissolvable antibiotic "sponge" is available to Canadian hospitals and patients and is clinically proven to reduce SSIs by 50 to 85 percent, improving patient safety, reducing hospital costs and decreasing surgical wait times. Unlike IV antibiotics which circulate through the entire body at relatively low doses, this new product, Collatamp G is easily implanted during the surgical procedure delivers high-doses of antibiotic directly to the site of infection risk without any of the toxicity concerns or side effects associated with IV antibiotics.

Introduced mid-2008 by Mississauga-based Theramed Corporation, Collatamp G is now in active use at over 35 leading Ontario and Quebec hospitals ranging from world-renowned academic medical centers to safety and cost-conscious community hospitals. In just a few short months, Collatamp G has been used successfully in hundreds of Canadian patients undergoing general, abdominal, orthopaedic, cardiac, vascular and plastic surgery. Collatamp G is also being used successfully in the treatment of severe diabetic foot ulcers.

Worldwide, Collatamp G has been used in over 2 million patients over 20 years with no reported adverse events. Collatamp G received Health Canada approval in 2007 and has subsequently been granted Fast Track Development status by the United States FDA.    

Approximately 50,000 Canadians suffer a surgical site infection after surgery. Though overshadowed in media by reports of MRSA and C. difficile, SSIs are in fact the second most common adverse event in hospitalized patients, accounting for 14 to 16 percent of all hospital-acquired infections.

Today's best-practices for SSI prevention include IV antibiotics, appropriate hair removal, maintenance of blood sugar levels and body temperature. However even with these measures, patients who are overweight, have diabetes, are elderly, have weakened immune systems, or are undergoing lengthy or "dirty" surgical procedures are at high-risk for developing a life-threatening SSI.

For this group of patients, Collatamp G, a collagen sponge containing high doses of the proven antibiotic gentamicin represents a brand new paradigm of treatment. Collatamp G provides an important extra level of protection for this particularly susceptible patient group against infection risk. Used along with current best practices Collatamp G delivers a dramatic, 50 to 85 percent reduction in SSI risk, and significant cost savings to Canadian hospitals, by placing the antibiotic directly where it is needed at doses strong enough to kill even drug-resistan bacteria such as MRSA.

About Collatamp G and Local Antibiotic Delivery:
Collatamp G is inserted into the surgical wound prior to closure and, over the following days, releases antibiotic directly where it is needed, at doses high enough to kill even drug resistant bacteria and 'superbugs' such as MRSA. This ability to deliver local antibiotics is a new approach for surgeons and overcomes the major problem with IV antibiotics; the inability, because of toxicity concerns and side effects, to achieve high-enough doses to be effective. Further, in patients who are elderly or have diabetes, poor circulation often hinders the ability of the circulating IV antibiotic to get to the target site where it is actually needed.

Collatamp G avoids this "shotgun" IV approach by delivering tan effective dose of therapy in a highly targeted fashion directly to the site where it is needed, when it is needed.

Economic Model:
Using Canadian SSI incidence data as a benchmark, a company-developed economic model demonstrates that in addition to the important patient safety benefits, prophylactic use of Collatamp G in high-risk patient groups and high-risk surgeries also delivers a cost benefit to hospitals even if their rates of infection are lower than typical reported Canadian rates. For instance, use of Collatamp G in high-risk patients results in break-even cost at the following procedural rates:

Cardiac surgery: 1.7%
Hip replacement surgery: 2.1%
Colorectal surgery: 5.6%

The economic challenges facing Canadian hospitals are well known, with budget deficits and service cutbacks becoming a way of life. In the face of this environment, the ability to reduce hospital costs, free up hospital beds and decrease surgical wait times while dramatically improving patient safety just makes sense.


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Stephen Mcelroy
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