MiMedx Concludes Enrollment For Phase 3 Plantar Fasciitis Trial

Media release:

MARIETTA, Ga., Sept. 17, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — MiMedx Group, Inc. (OTC PINK: MDXG) (“MiMedx” or “the Company”), an industry leader in advanced wound care and an emerging therapeutic biologics company, today announced the conclusion of enrollment for a Phase 3 study of plantar fasciitis, an inflammation of the fibrous tissue along the bottom of the foot that results in intense pain. This key clinical trial explores how placental science may address and treat musculoskeletal pain and function disorders. The study has met its timelines.

“Plantar fasciitis is an all-too-common, debilitating and painful foot condition that challenges both patients and clinicians. Several months to years of treatment may be required with conservative therapies before symptoms subside, and I believe plantar fasciitis represents a significant unmet patient need,” said Stuart Miller, M.D., Principal Investigator, Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, MedStar Union Memorial Hospital, and Assistant Professor, Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland. “This is a landmark study that will help us advance the science and elevate the standard of care for millions of patients; I look forward to analyzing and publishing the data regarding treatment efficacy for this musculoskeletal condition. Our progress to date is all the more gratifying given the dampening effect of the pandemic on patient enrollment. This study is designed to provide statistically significant evidence of efficacy for this biologic treatment to reduce pain and improve function.”

More than two million people are treated for plantar fasciitis inflammation in the United States annually. In 10% of patients treated with traditional measures, the condition progresses to chronic plantar fasciitis-related pain – recovery from which is lengthy and recurrence of which is very common, with an estimated $284 million annual national economic burden. The current treatment algorithm aims to maintain arch shape, modify foot loading and/or improve shock absorbency of the heel through night splints and orthotics. While they may assist in reducing pain associated with plantar fasciitis, these treatments do not address the root cause of the condition, which is thought to be both degenerative and inflammatory.

Timothy R. Wright, MiMedx Chief Executive Officer, commented, “Given the variability of efficacy, cost, and potential side effects of available plantar fasciitis treatment options, additional evidence-based alternatives are needed urgently. As a pioneer in the development of placental tissue technology, following through on clinical research is part of our mission to improve patient outcomes. Using our placental science platform to address the unmet need posed by plantar fasciitis is just one of the critical ways that we are exploring its application to improve people’s lives. We look forward to sharing the results of this trial in 2021.”

About the MiMedx Plantar Fasciitis Trial
This study is a Phase 3, prospective, double-blinded, randomized controlled trial of the micronized dehydrated Human Amnion Chorion Membrane (dHACM) injection as compared to saline placebo injection in the treatment of plantar fasciitis. The trial enrolled 276 patients between the ages of 21 and 79 years, with an investigator-confirmed diagnosis of plantar fasciitis for ≥ 1 month (30 days) and ≤ 18 months. Patients were required to have a Visual Analog Scale (VAS) Pain scale of ≥ 45 mm at randomization and be receiving conservative treatment for ≥ 1 month (30 days), including any of the following modalities: Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation (RICE); stretching exercises; NSAIDs or orthotics. The primary endpoints are change in VAS for Pain at 90 Days and incidence of related adverse events at 180 days, serious adverse events and unanticipated events during the first 12 months post-injection. Secondary endpoints include self-reported responses to the Foot Function Index – Revised (FFI-R) at 90 days.

Biomechanics: Wearing footwear with toe springs requires less muscle work

Press Release:

Wearing footwear with an upward curvature at the front of the shoe – known as the toe spring – requires less work from the muscles of the feet to walk than shoes with a flatter sole, according to an experimental study published in Scientific Reports.

Toe springs keep the toes continually elevated above the ground in a flexed upwards position to help the front part of the foot roll forward when walking or running and are present in most modern athletic shoes, but their effect on natural foot function and vulnerability of the feet to injury has not been widely studied.

Freddy Sichting and colleagues from Harvard University, the Chemnitz University of Technology and Buffalo University investigated the effects of toe springs on foot biomechanics using a controlled experiment in which 13 participants walked barefoot on a treadmill at a comfortable walking pace. The participants were then asked to repeat the process wearing four different pairs of specially designed sandals with varying upward curvature of the toe region in order to simulate the curvature of modern athletic footwear. 3D motion data were captured using markers placed on each subject’s knee, ankle and foot.

The authors found that toe springs decrease the work of the muscles around the joints that connect the toes to the foot bones. The higher the upwards curve of the toes in respect to the rest of the foot, the less work the foot muscles had to perform to support the joints when walking.

The findings explain why toe springs are so comfortable and popular but suggest that shoes with toe springs may contribute to weakening of the foot muscles with long-term use. This may increase susceptibility to common pathological conditions such as plantar fasciitis, inflammation of the foot that connects the heel bone to the toes, according to the authors.

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‘Do corns have roots?”

The question ‘do corns have roots?” gets searched for in Google about 300 times a month. It could be assumed to be done by those who want to know why there ‘corns’ keep coming back and if the reason for that is that they have roots, like plant roots that they grow back from.

Corns on the feet do not have roots. If a corn is removed and it comes back, then that is simply because what caused it in the first place is still there. Unless the cause is removed, then it will come back.

The myth needs to go away and Podiatrists need to do a better job at educating the community about the myth.

A new approach to understanding the biology of wound healing

Press Release:

PHILADELPHIA – Our bodies frequently heal wounds, like a cut or a scrape, on their own. However patients with diabetes, vascular disease, and skin disorders, sometimes have difficulty healing. This can lead to chronic wounds, which can severely impact quality of life. The management of chronic wounds is a major cost to healthcare systems, with the U.S alone spending an estimated 10-20 billion dollars per year. Still, we know very little about why some wounds become chronic, making it hard to develop effective therapeutics to promote healing. New research from Jefferson describes a novel way to sample the cells found at wounds – using discarded wound dressings. This non-invasive approach opens a window into the cellular composition of wounds, and an opportunity to identify characteristics of wounds likely to heal versus those that become chronic, as well as inform the development of targeted therapies.

The study was published in Scientific Reports on September 15th.

“Studying wound healing in humans is very challenging, and we know very little about the process in humans,” says Andrew South, PhD, Associate Professor in the Department of Dermatology and Cutaneous Biology and one of the lead authors of the study. “What we do know is from animal studies, and animal skin and the way it heals is very different from human skin.”

Dr. South and his lab study a group of inherited skin diseases called epidermolysis bullosa (EB), where wound healing is severely impaired. Patients, often from birth, suffer from blisters and lesions that are slow to heal, and some become chronic. In a subset of patients, chronic wounds are at high risk of developing into aggressive skin cancer. At this time, it is very difficult to predict which wounds in a given patient will heal, and which won’t. Being able to sample the wounds is a key to understanding the mechanisms behind healing.

“Performing a biopsy to sample the cells in the wound would help us understand the differences between these wounds,” says Dr. South “But biopsy in these patients is extremely painful and could delay healing of the wound even further. On the other hand, collecting these bandages that are just going to be thrown away, it poses no harm to the patient, and can be applied to a variety of conditions where wounds don’t heal properly.”

The researchers, which included collaborators in Chile and Austria, collected and analyzed 133 discarded wound dressings from 51 EB patients. Both acute and chronic wounds were sampled, with acute defined as present for 21 days or less, and chronic as present for more than 3 months.

“Previous studies had used wound dressings or bandages to collect fluid and look at what proteins are in there,” says Dr. South. “But no one has actually looked at what cells are present. Applying the techniques our lab frequently uses, we were able to isolate viable or living cells from the dressings.”

The researchers recovered a large number of cells from the dressings, often in excess of a 100 million. The larger the wound, and the more time a dressing was on a wound, the more number of cells were recovered.

The researchers then characterized the cells to see what type of cells are present at the wound. They detected a variety of immune cells including lymphocytes, granulocytes or neutrophils, and monocytes or macrophages. When comparing dressings from acute and chronic wounds, they found a significantly higher number of neutrophils at chronic wound sites. Neutrophils are the first line of defense in our immune system, and when a wound starts to form, they’re the first ones to arrive at the scene.

“Previous findings from animal studies and protein analysis of human wound dressings had supported the idea that when neutrophils hang around longer than they should, that stalls the healing process and can lead to chronicity,” says Dr. South. “Our findings support that theory more definitively, by showing that chronic wounds are characterized by higher levels of neutrophils.”

These findings give more insight into wound healing, and could help develop therapies that promote the process; for instance, those that neutralize excess neutrophils, or recruit macrophages, the immune cells that begin the next stage in healing after neutrophils.

The researchers now plan to expand on their technique, by further analyzing the individual cells collected from the wound dressings, and the genetic material inside them. “Currently we’re working with colleagues in Santiago, Chile on collecting dressings from EB patients over a period of time,” says Dr. South. “This allows us to follow patients longitudinally, and observe a wound and how its cellular composition changes as it heals or doesn’t heal.”

The team hopes that this will reveal genetic markers that can predict healing or chronicity.

“This method of sampling could be an alternative to bothersome swabs or blood draws, which are especially hard to do in newborns,” says Dr. South. “Since we know EB can present at birth, this technique could give us really early insight into the how severe the disease might be.”

While the current study focuses on EB, Dr. South and his colleagues hope that this technique can be applied to a variety of other conditions, such as diabetic foot ulcers and vascular leg ulcers.

“The field of wound healing has been crying out for a better understanding of what drives a chronic wound,” says Dr. South. “This technique could be transformative, and eventually help patients live more comfortable and healthy lives.”

Walk a mile in their shoes

What are patients going through? What sorts of questions do they ask in social media? What do they think about what health professionals tell them about their conditions? Do you know?

Suggestion: on Facebook there are many groups for people with different health conditions. Join these groups for a while to see what they are talking about. Do not tout for business, use them an an opportunity to walk in their shoes to see what their issues are.

For example, there is this Facebook group on Freiberg’s disease and this one on Morton’s Neuroma.

Adult acquired flatfoot or posterior tibial tendon dysfunction or progressive collapsing foot deformity?

Which one is the correct name? There is a lot of discussion going on as to which is the more appropriate name. There are merits for each name.

A lot of it comes down to what is the primary pathology and if it is a primary problem of the posterior tibial tendon or is the driving factor and the primary structures that are involved are more than just that tendon, such as the spring ligament.

This topic has been ligated here.