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HHS division again increases funding for MediWound's burn therapies by $21M

MediWound Ltd. said the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has expanded the contract for funding the company's burn therapies to $77 million.

The Israel-based pharmaceutical company is developing NexoBrid for removing eschar, a dark scab that appears following a burn injury, in deep-partial and full-thickness thermal burns.

The U.S. Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority, or BARDA, a division within HHS, has modified the contract to increase the agency's commitment by another $21 million. The funds will be used for the NexoBrid expanded access treatment, or NEXT, protocol. The original contract was for $24 million. HHS previously upsized the contract to $56 million in July 2017.

The NEXT protocol can treat up to 150 patients with deep, partial and full thickness burns that cover up to 30% of the total body surface area.

BARDA has another contract with MediWound to support the development of NexoBrid to treat sulfur mustard injuries. The total nondilutive funding for NexoBrid under the contracts is now valued at up to $196 million.

MediWound CEO Sharon Malka said the company will start NEXT protocol in the third quarter of the year, with a plan to submit a biologics license application with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in the fourth quarter. MediWound is studying NexoBrid in a late stage pediatric study.