SAWC Wound Care Conclave Opens in Dallas

As I write this, the 22nd Annual Symposium on Wound Care and the Wound Healing Society is convening in Dallas (it runs through the 29th).  It claims to be the largest gathering of wound care clinicians in the US.  The Association for the Advancement of Wound Care holds its annual meeting concurrently at the same location.

In case you were wondering what would happen at a wound care symposium, the subjects to be covered include Limb Preservation (saving feet, legs and arms from amputation due to wounds that refuse to heal), as well as the more predictable sessions on how to deliver advanced wound care — and we are talking here about burns, diabetic foot ulcers, bedsores, venous leg ulcers, and a variety of other wounds that are difficult to heal.  One of the largest populations for intractable wounds is elderly people and others who are immobile or bedridden, whose nutrition may be inadequate, and for whom exercise is not a viable option. 

There are numerous posters and papers being delivered : http://www.sawc.net/accepted-poster-abstracts. Smith & Nephew plc (LSE:SN; NYSE: SNN, http://www.smith-nephew.com) is still among the leaders, with their VAC  system and Negative Wound Pressure Therapy (http://www.kci1.com/35.asp).   Several sessions discuss cations (positively charged ions),  collagen alginates and silver alginates, and leptospermum (manuka) honey is one of the hot topics, judging from the number of posters naming it.   The most common topics in the poster sessions seem to be various kinds of leg and foot ulcers, debridement techniques (basically cleaning a wound), and the prevention of amputations.

The Center for Wound Healing Inc, based in Tarrytown, NY (EBB: CFWH,  http://www.centerwh.com) will be attending, to talk about its hyperbaric oxygen therapy, as well as other treatments it offers.  It manages 35 wound care centers in the eastern US, usually either inside of or in cooperation with acute-care hospitals.  Their shares closed Friday at $0.50, down from a 52-week high of $2.00, on a fairly skimpy average daily trading of 12,500 shares, in spite of revenue growing at 17+%, a net loss that is decreasing, and margins that are pushing 50% and rising.  Might be worth looking at.

Southampton, PA-based Environmental Tectonics Corp (Amex:ETC, http://www.etcusa.com) will be demonstrating their computerized hyperbaric chamber systems at the Symposium.  ETC shares closed Friday at $0.94, down from a 52-week high of $2.82, on average trading of just under 10,000 shares.  For their 9 months, ETC reported revenues of $8.7 million, up from $6.7 million in the previous year, and their net quarterly loss was cut from $2 million last year to $113,000 this year.  Could also be worth putting on a watch list.

Addison, TX-based ULURU Inc (Amex: ULU, http://www.uluruinc.com/) will be presenting on Altrazeal(tm), its principal FDA-cleared product, which is a wound-care powder.  ULU shares closed at $0.28 on Friday, down from a year-high of $2.25, on higher-than-average volume of 97,00o shares.  http://hemmroids.falcoblog.com/hemmroids/uluru-to-present-clinical-evidence-and-advanced-research-on-altrazeal-at-the-society-for-advance-wound-care-conference-medical-news-today

Princeton, NY-based Derma Sciences Inc* (EBB: DSCI, http://www.dermasciences.com) has a number of wound-care products, with the most ballyhooed being MediHONEY(R), their Manuka Honey-based family of topicals that has been credited with saving limbs (http://www.ir.dermasciences.com/profiles/investor/ResLibraryView.asp?ResLibraryID=28024&GoTopage=1&BzID=1109&Category=440&a=) and healing a variety of difficult wounds.  Most recently Derma Sciences announced FDA clearance for its novel BioGuard(tm) barrier dressing, which is likely to be used in conjunction with MediHONEY.  But the company also has a silver alginate product and is a noted manufacturer of adhesive strips and wound closure devices for large OEMs, with factories in the US, Mexico, Canada and China.  DSCI shares closed Friday at $0.35, down from a high of $1.40, on average volume of 45,000 shares.  The Company reported sales of $50.2 million for 2008, vs $34.1 million in 2007, which means that its market cap of $14 million is something less than 1/3 of last year’s sales.  Losses are diminishing fast, and the company looks for breakeven on a cash basis this year.   On most ratio bases, a stock work looking at.

The SAWC runs through April 29 at the Gaylord Texan Hotel and Convention Center in Grapevine, TX, just a few minutes from DFW International Airport.

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