GelSana Therapeutics Provides Breakthrough in Hydrogel Technology

GelSana Therapeutics, Inc. is fabricating next-generation wound healing hydrogels that offer faster healing with less inflammation, especially for chronic wounds such as diabetic ulcers. The GelSana team is dedicated to solving the significant and costly problem of diabetic ulcers through their unique hydrogels designed to decrease infection and improve lives of patients.

CBSA President and CEO Jennifer Jones Paton asked Melissa Krebs, CEO and Founder of GelSana Therapeutics, CBSA’s Key Questions for Life Sciences Innovators.

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Melissa Krebs, GelSana CEO and Founder, and her graduate students
at Colorado School of Mines developed the hydrogel technology.

Q: Tell us about your company or organization.

A: We are a Colorado-based biomaterials company developing new products to heal wounds, particularly chronic wounds, with our novel technology. Based on their unique chemical properties, GelSana’s hydrogels help decrease inflammation and accelerate the healing of chronic wounds. Faster healing will help reduce the infection and amputation risk that chronic open wounds pose. Our hydrogels’ physical properties make them easy to apply and they remain stable on the wound for an extended period. Additionally, these hydrogels have a demonstrated ability to provide sustained delivery of therapeutics to the wound bed, which can be particularly important for wounds needing therapeutics to fully resolve.

Q: Describe your team culture. How does your culture shape what your company or organization produces or offers?

A: We value innovation, creativity, dedication, and teamwork. We are driven by our desire to help these patients that desperately need better options. We take great pride in our work and the impact that it will have.

Q: What are you working on right now?

A: At GelSana, we are focused on the development of hydrogel-based products that will accelerate the rate of wound healing. That will be particularly impactful for chronic, difficult-to-heal wounds. We are currently working on identifying a final formulation and then readying our first product for 510(k) testing and approval. We are also working on developing a pipeline of sustained release therapeutic products.

Q: How will your work save or change lives?

A: Diabetes has become one of the most prevalent diseases in modern society, affecting nearly one in ten people globally. Complications of diabetes, including impaired wound healing, represent significant clinical issues, with millions of people developing a new diabetic ulcer every year. Once these ulcers form, they are very difficult to heal due to the high levels of chronic inflammation in patients that impair the normal healing process. Chronic open wounds are at great risk of infection and ultimately amputation of the affected tissue and limb. Our technology will promote faster healing of diabetic ulcers. This faster healing should, in turn, prevent infection and amputation. Additionally, we believe that our hydrogels will have a broader impact on other wound healing applications.

Q: How has COVID-19 impacted your company or organization?

A: We are fortunate to not have been too impacted by COVID-19, our company was founded during the pandemic. On the bright side, this pandemic has perhaps in some ways made networking and communicating more efficient, as everyone has had to learn how to video conference with others, and it is possible to have multiple meetings in quick succession with people in many different locations.

Q: CBSA champions a collaborative life sciences ecosystem because we are #stongertogether. How has being an active participant in our life sciences community supported your success?

A: Colorado’s life sciences ecosystem is high-energy, and it is exciting to be able to be a part of it. We have already benefited greatly from residing at the Fitzsimons Innovation Community in terms of establishing our lab space with the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus right across the street and being able to benefit from the expertise and facilities available all around us. The other companies in this community have been collaborative and supportive.

The location of this community right near the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus, the quality of the Fitzsimons Innovation Community facilities coupled with the ability to access the facilities at the medical campus, and the synergy that exists make it an ideal location for our biomedical startup company.

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