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Cardiff Scientists Funded for Wound-treatment Genetic Test

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Researchers at Cardiff University will use £203,000 ($318,000) in funding for clinical research into a genetic test to predict whether chronic wounds will respond to conventional treatments, Cardiff said today.

The funding comprises £150,000 from the Welsh Government's Academic Expertise for Business (A4B) program to validate the technology, in addition to £53,000 from the University's Cardiff Partnership Fund.

The research will focus on a clinical study to verify the validity of a test developed at Cardiff that predicts treatment responses for chronic wounds that do not heal rapidly, such as venous leg ulcers, diabetic foot ulcers, and pressure ulcers.

Managing chronic wounds in Wales costs the UK's National Health Service £180 million annually, and the UK sees around 200,000 new cases each year, Cardiff said.

The early work on the test, which resulted in two patent filings by Cardiff, was conducted using frozen tissue samples and had a 98 percent accuracy rate, the university said.

The project, led by investigators Keith Harding, a professor of rehabilitation medicine and wound healing, and Wen Jiang, a professor in surgery and tumor biology, is expected to be finished early in 2012.

"The inability to identify wounds that will heal without difficulty from those that will not is currently an iterative process often requiring several months of different therapies before selecting a high cost, high tech therapy," Harding said in a statement.

"This is both unfair to the patient and expensive to provide. Successful development of this product would transform service provision by giving patients the right treatment at the earliest possible opportunity," he said.

"The very close correlation between the genetic signature and the future outcome of the wound healing process gives us confidence that this test will deliver real benefits to patients," added Jiang.

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