Novan collects $7.8M from gov to develop nitric oxide burn med

Novan Therapeutics landed $7.8 million from the U.S. Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) to further develop the North Carolina-based company's technology that delivers nitric oxide gas to thermal wounds.

Novan's delivery technology for the release of nitric oxide is critical to its success as a therapeutic. Because the active ingredient is a gas, it must be stored in a molecule that carefully controls the timing of the release, as well as the amount that is used.

The technology is based on the 1998 Nobel Prize-winning discovery of nitric oxide's ability to perform several therapeutic tasks, including, according to the company, preventing clotting, regulating inflammation, revitalizing tissue, killing invading microorganisms and neutralizing cancer cells.

BARDA has agreed to a two-year contract for the development, which would be the first FDA-approved drug with an indication for burn healing, according to an in-Pharma Technologist report.

Novan designed its burn medication for "a mass casualty event caused by natural or intentional threats to public health (that) could result in tens of thousands of burn patients, which would overwhelm the burn care infrastructure presently available in the United States," according to the company.

Novan has only one product in clinical trials, which is a nitric oxide therapy for acne. The company started in 2008.

- here's the release
- and here's the in-Pharma Technologist report